Munich-based operator K5-Aviation has welcomed the world’s first Airbus ACJ319neo to its managed charter fleet. After the initial delivery in August last year, the aircraft entered a 10-month completion phase at Fokker Techniek in the Netherlands and is now fully operational and ready to fly clients around the globe. The aircraft's cabin offers seating for 19 and sleeps 18 passengers, and is equipped with the latest cabin technology, in-flight entertainment and Gogo 2Ku high-speed Wi-Fi. Thanks to five auxiliary centre tanks, the aircraft has a range of up to 6,500 nm or 15 hours, connecting cities like London and Buenos Aires, San Francisco and Hong Kong or New York and Dubai.
With the ACJ319neo joining the fleet, K5 will now operate eight aircraft including long-range ACJ319s and 318, Global XRS, Global 6000 and Global 7500. “The aircraft has been delivered and is now in operation,” explains accountable manager Luca Madone. “It was delivered mid-July, and then from the completion centre it went directly to AOC ops, two days later. To have it delivered directly like that was quite an achievement. It is the first of its type, not only for the business aviation world, but also for the commercial world – the first 319neo. “At K5 we have always been looking to have the aircraft with the longest range. Previously we had the ACJ319, which was the longest-range narrow body aircraft available, and now we have topped that with the neo. Its range is previously unseen for this class of aircraft.” Lorenz Baur, head of charter sales, adds that the aircraft will mostly be used by existing clients rather than a new type of customer. “On our other 319 there were times where we had to make a fuel stop, but now we can do nearly every destination non-stop; we can connect the Middle East and the east coast of the US,” he says. “The ACJ version has a cabin altitude of 6,900 ft, which is lower than the aircraft before. Other than that, the improvement that we have is the cabin; it’s quieter because of the new engine. We were able to reduce the noise inside of the aircraft. The other aircraft was extremely quiet already and now this new version is even quieter. These two items give you significantly higher passenger comfort.” The 2Ku system has been hailed as the ‘fastest internet system in the sky’, at up to 70Mbps data download. “No other system has this kind of capability,” continues Baur. “A cabin humidification system, in combination with the lower cabin altitude, will provide a level of travel comfort not experienced before. On a long haul flight we can use 80 to 100 litres of water inside the cabin. We have made upgrades to the cabin entertainment system, with iPhone-style personal control units in the seats, with new camera and new screen systems. “It is worth mentioning the rectangular shower. Very few aircraft are equipped with that. It is a bigger shower than before, a rainfall shower which is very unique. “Nothing will change with the rest of our fleet, we just have one more premium option now, as well as sending the other aircraft out for charter like before. The main point is that we have the full range plus the additional comfort in the cabin. But everything else will be the same, by fleet size, I would say we are by far the largest ACJ operator in the world,” he concludes.