The Avro RJ and BAe 146 were originally designed for the regional airlines, but BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is actively marketing used aircraft from its lease portfolio to the business jet world.
Although some Avro Business Jets were sold new off the production line as Government VIP aircraft, there are also several private owners and corporations operating both executive and shuttle applications.
Some 23 Avro Business Jets are now in operation or under conversion. The company has teamed with UK design house DesignQ to offer cutting-edge interiors for the aircraft, and with Inflite Engineering services to carry out conversions.
BAE says the Avro Business Jet represents excellent value for money because aircraft can be acquired for less than the price of a small business jet and customers get a large cabin, with huge flexibility for interior conversion options, in an aircraft that has excellent airfield performance to access difficult airfields, is self-contained, economical, quiet and has a long service life.
Gary Doy, director of DesignQ says: “With a VIP you have to try to understand them. You won’t always meet that person, so it can be hard to understand their aspirations and tastes. We have to know the customer’s taste. What does he have in his house?”
For one customer, the Avro Business Jet marks a pure interim solution “because of the long lead times on new jets”, says Doy. DesignQ used laser scanners to capture the entire aircraft interior to a 3mm accuracy to start building virtual models of what the jet could be like.
Doy says it is about surprising and delighting the customer. “You would not expect this interior in this aircraft, it realty adds extra wow factor. It is simplistic but neutral because he needs the interior to his taste, but also some neutrality for other users.
“We are adding in surprise and delight features, things that you might not find the first time you fly, but mybe on the second or third flight. It can be something as simple as a signature on the back of the furniture. He might never find it, but if he does, then he knows it’s a very special product.”
Source: Flight International