Airbus has let slip its internal name for the A380 VIP version, with a name evoking images of airborne luxury, likely to appeal to its wealthy Middle Eastern clientèle.
In a press statement announcing the order of two VIP versions of the A340 Prestige, Airbus says its corporate range runs from the "entry-level A318 Elite, through the Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), A320 Prestige and A330/A340 Prestige, all the way up to an A380 Flying Palace." The name Flying Palace has not been publicly seen before, despite rumours of a customer for the ultralarge airliner circulating since the A380's launch.
|Lufthansa Technik includes a conference dining room in its concept of the A380 main deck|
Interiors specialist Lufthansa Technik has publicly release its publicity shots (above) of the possible interior of the A380 and it is likely that rivals such as Switzerland's Jet Aviation have also completed designs.
Flightglobal.com also brought you the video walk-through of the A380 Flying Palace last year.
The deals announced today take the customer base to around 40 for VIP and government versions of Airbus widebody aircraft, the company says. The Airbus A340-500 is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines, and the A340-300 by CFM International CFM56-5s.
“With its huge cabin, ultra long-range, and the four-engined freedom to take the remotest routings in its stride, the Airbus A340 is today’s ultimate long-haul VIP transport,” says Airbus chief operating officer, customers, John Leahy.