As technical completion project manager at Global Jet – which offers aircraft charter, management and sales/acquisition services – Nicolas Jaccard can shed light on what end users and operators expect and require from business jet cabins
How important are cabin interiors to you?
Cabin interiors are my job and my passion! I am always seeking to discern future developments, innovations and the world’s best aircraft designers and completion centers. We constantly challenge them to find new ideas and push the limits of business aviation.
When we start a project, we need to be proactive, anticipating the end users’ needs and the technologies that will be on the market at the time of delivery. My experience as an engineer flying with principals on narrow- and wide-body aircraft has taught me a lot about their habits, requirements and expectations. I call upon this experience every day on my new projects, with a focus on improving the comfort, quality, safety, durability and reliability of cabin interiors. I take pride in protecting the owners’ asset and delivering the best value for money, along with a unique and fantastic result. We always get very positive feedback from the final users.
Does the Global Jet fleet have a harmonized look for its interiors?
We manage different aircraft for several owners, each with their own personality and requirements, so we cannot talk about fleet harmonization in term of cabin design. However, we do apply the Global Jet touch in terms of loose equipment such as pillows and blankets. The cabin decoration follows company quality standards, tailored for the passengers.
What interior design/technology decisions have you taken for the latest additions to your fleet?
The communications system is the center of attention for clients. We stay in very close contact with the major satellite communication providers, so we are always aware of changes or available upgrades. As an independent company we can benefit from competing providers’ continued race to offer the best speed, volume data and price. The same applies for IFE systems.
Our recent completion design requests have been for modern luxury, with a timeless feel.
Is your customer base changing?
Not really. We have a worldwide portfolio, and our customers retain very high expectations, which we are very pleased to take care of. They want the best products in this very exclusive market.
What other changes have you seen recently in the market?
The cabin completion and design market is stable, with a few wide-body completions each year. The entire community is ready to welcome the new BBJ Max and ACJ neo types. We can definitely find available slots at the main completion centers.
What do passengers expect of interiors in terms of design and technology?
They want the kind of comfort that makes them feel like they are at home, not in an aircraft: this entails a very fine mixture of design and technology. For example, one of the most important factors in comfort is a low cabin noise level. Customers may expect to achieve a cruise noise level of 45dB SIL3 in some areas, like in a library. Achieving this is a real challenge that involves a lot of upfront research and balancing competing factors in terms of the design (including the finishes selected) and the cabin completion weight (in installing an acoustic insulation package).
What requirements do you have in terms of ensuring a cabin holds up to frequent use? How does this affect your material choices?
The cabin completion specifications are fully customized for each project; each owner has different wishes for their ‘flying home’. Certainly, different materials and finishes are used for a cabin that will be used only by the principal and their friends rather than a cabin built for charter or corporate flights. This involves a scrupulous material selection process and testing, performed by the designer and completion center. We also often perform cleaning tests on samples to see how the material reacts before making the final selection.
What requirements do you have in terms of accommodation/equipment for flight crew?
It is important to us that our crew are accommodated in safe and comfortable quarters that meet international standards to ensure they get the necessary rest before conducting their duties. Quality rest, safety and security must be guaranteed for our flight crew – this is non-negotiable. We ensure that our crew have the best training, tools and equipment, to enable them to meet and go beyond the highest level of service and safety that our reputation is based on.
In terms of aircraft layout and specifics to enable our crew to perform, it is imperative that safety, security and hygiene standards are met. From there, we ensure that our crew are able to deliver the Global Jet service by finding solutions that are in line with safety requirements. On smaller aircraft it can be challenging, but we always find a solution.
What catering equipment/storage do you need to meet your inflight catering needs?
This is a very complex question to answer as we operate one of the most dynamic fleets on the market, including Dassault Falcon, Bombardier, Gulfstream, Boeing and Airbus types. Each aircraft is unique – specifically tailored to meet the requirements of each customer. We adapt to all aircraft specifics and ensure they meet the highest requirements, whether it is to deliver our award-winning service, safety or the security of our customers and crew. We have 19 years of experience in this field and know how to exceed our customers’ expectations while ensuring their safety.
Because every aircraft and client is different, we order fully customized galleys, building specifications by integrating the input of parties including the owner and their crew, which can include chefs and butlers.
In the case where wi-fi-equipped aircraft are used by multiple parties, how do you monitor and control billing for wi-fi use?
This is very simple for us. Service providers such as GoDirect Access give aircraft owners and operators an easy-to-use tool to manage inflight wi-fi access and control data costs, while letting passengers connect to the internet worldwide. When the service is enabled by the flight crew, passengers can access the internet through a custom portal, similar to those used by public internet providers like hotels, restaurants and airports. Or we can provide passengers with a fixed amount of data using voucher cards. If passengers require more data, they can purchase it without interruption to their services. We can easily turn the access on or off, depending on the mission need.
Have you identified any issues with interiors/equipment that you’d like to feed back to the market?
OEMs have transformed their products in terms of air quality, cabin altitude, the size of windows and by making incredible range improvements. Now we need to engineer the cabin in such a way that passengers can feel at home for flights of 18 hours and more – so the principal will not get bored and can experience optimum comfort. However, despite the improvements made in communication and IFE systems, we are still two or three years behind the latest consumer technology, mostly due to certification issues.
This is a major challenge and we work on it every day with engineering teams from the completion centers and certification specialists. Collaboration is needed on several topics. We translate the aircraft owner’s request and the designer’s wishes into business aviation language.
What else would you like the interiors market to make available in terms of equipment and materials?
A hot topic at the moment is seat functionality, ergonomics and development. Our industry is still a niche market for seat manufacturers, so it is difficult to motivate them to respond to our development demands. They can’t fulfill our requests at the moment. I strongly believe that the industry would benefit from new developments in this segment. The vendors need to move on from their old products. Our collaborations with different designers are very interesting; often we face the same questions and need to solve identical issues. We also work on several new developments in term of cabinetry integration and lighting, responding to requests from designers.
Can you detail any plans you have for your fleet?
We have improved the size and quality of our fleet throughout the years. Aviation products are becoming more and more high-end, with technology that enhances the flying experience and comfort. Global Jet is always seeking the best way to get involved in these evolutions and share the most enhanced technology with our clients where we can.
We are experiencing stable growth and are focused on always providing optimum quality. Our main focus is safeguarding long-lasting business relationships with our clients. They must feel at home and that every detail is taken care of.
We are pioneers when it comes to new aircraft types. Our fleet consists of more than 30 types of aircraft and we are structured to handle any type, adapting to every operation.