Dubai luxury hotel FIVE named ACJ220 launch client
Dubai-based luxury hotel group FIVE has been revealed as the launch customer for the Airbus A220 private jet, dubbed ACJ TwoTwenty. FIVE will take delivery of the very first ACJ TwoTwenty in 2023 and use it to transport its most demanding clients between its growing portfolio of properties and around the world.
First ACJ TwoTwenty to become a charter aircraft for a hotel group
ACJ TwoTwenty’s first client turned out to be FIVE, a growing luxury hotel group headquartered in Dubai. The aircraft will be registered 9H-FIVE (and pronounced Nine Hotel Five) and will enter service for the brand in 2023.
The ACJ is being fitted out by luxury interior experts Comlux Completion, starting in January 2022. Features planned for the first TwoTwenty include 16 seats, a dining table for eight and a master suite with king size bed and shower. The jet will use electrochromatic shades, like Dreamliner windows, and provide non-stop high-speed internet connectivity. There will also be two 55-inch ultra-wide screens on board, full LED lighting and a fully equipped galley.
The TwoTwenty will be able to fly for 12 hours nonstop, opening up an incredible range of destinations from FIVE’s home in Dubai. The aircraft will be operated by Comlux Aviation, under the AOC of the Swiss company in Malta, although the two flight attendants on board will come from FIVE’s own staff. FIVE will take delivery of the very first ACJ220 to roll off the production line and of the planes that Airbus began building in May of this year.
Simple Flying caught up with charismatic businessman Kabir Mulchandani, founder and president of FIVE, to learn more about his plans with the aircraft. The CEO met us at a champagne and caviar-laden reception at his hotel on the Palm in Dubai, where Comlux had skillfully transformed a basic office into a high party space using LED lights. Interestingly, the space in which the FIVE guests were received was exactly the same width as the interior of the TwoTwenty.
Increase your fleet
At present, Mulchandani has a private Global aircraft for its own use, so it is a big step forward in moving from operating it to operating a large regional jet like the ‘A220. He explained his thoughts behind buying the plane, noting,
“I think this is a real game-changer. And that’s why I bought it. You can do a lot more with what you couldn’t do with, say, a Global 7500, a G 700, or even a 10X, due to the 3.3 meter width.
From the cabin renderings, it’s clear to see the party and classy atmosphere Mulchandani intends to create for his guests. On board, it will adopt multi-purpose spaces, where coffee tables can expand to become dining rooms, or can be pulled out to create large dance floors. Onboard DJs will keep the entertainment entertained, while its renowned chefs bring the most luxurious meals and snacks to those he commutes between his properties.
Speaking of ACJ TwoTwenty compared to other popular business jets, he said:
“It has a lot more space and with a lot less direct operating costs. Yes, it’s more money, but when you look at the 10-year long-term cost of ownership, the difference is tiny. But given how many more planes you get and what we can do with them in terms of what we can do for ourselves and our brand, this is a great deal. “
What will the ACJ TwoTwenty be used for?
While Mulchandani will undoubtedly take advantage of TwoTwenty’s luxurious surroundings for his own private trips, he also intends to shuttle passengers between his growing portfolio of properties. FIVE currently has two operational hotels but is in the process of opening two more, one next year and one the following year. Mulchandani notes that he is also in negotiations to acquire properties in Europe.
He imagines guests enjoying the fresh Zurich air for a few days, then flying off at 9AM-FIVE to Dubai to soak up the sun. The ultra-luxury brand aims for further expansion in the future, and the ACJ TwoTwenty offers a future-proof solution, wherever FIVE locates in the future.
“With this plane [Airbus has] Guaranteed us a 12 hour flight, they guaranteed us London to San Francisco so it’s against the winds. And that guarantees Dubai all over Africa, all over Europe, all over Asia. From where we are based we can reach Reykjavik, Cape Town, Tokyo, where we have covered our clientele.
Mulchandani is not giving up on adding more ACJ TwoTwentys in the future. When asked if he wanted to be CEO of an airline as well as CEO of a hotel, he replied:
“I definitely want to work in spaces that I love. I love hotels. I love aviation. Do I have this desire? Absoutely. Will it be a commercial success? I am not sure. Do I have something to do with it? Not really. I love it, it’s so much fun, and I’m so very privileged to be able to do it.
In terms of price, FIVE customers who intend to take advantage of TwoTwenty’s lavish surroundings can expect to shell out around $ 10,000 for the privilege. It is, according to Mulchandani, an “affordable” price, a little more than the first class but much more private and exclusive. While that might be a mind-boggling figure for the man in the street, the hotel CEO says the types of guests he caters to his facilities usually spend more than that on champagne during their stays!