The rise in new-aircraft sales colliding with global supply-chain disruption has caused some interesting trends, including an unseen level of interior customization for smaller jets. Typically, to avoid waiting on delivery, those buyers snap up whatever rolls off the production line—but facing backlogs of up to six months or even a year, owners are seizing the opportunity to design their dream interiors.
“Everything from hand-woven carpets to quartz on the galley surfaces to unique quilting, company logos and tailoring on seats” are on various Cessna Citation upgrade lists, according to Christi Tannahill, Cessna’s senior vice president of customer experience. She’s been with the Wichita-based business-jet maker for 23 years and has never seen such a vast scope of remodeling extending across the Citation product line, from the Longitude and Latitude super-midsized jets all the way to the new M2 Gen2 light-jet edition.
“The trends are typically in line with residential design, such as changes in plating and veneer colors, matte finishes and mixed metals along with pops of color,” Tannahill says. “Statement pieces in the aircraft are also popular, with veneer techniques like metal inlays and etching.”
In addition to new exterior color schemes, the recently launched G2+ Vision personal jet can be customized with hand-stitched leather seats and interior upholstery, and owner-operators will appreciate upgrades such as Wi-Fi and a 20 percent increase in takeoff performance. Meanwhile, HondaJet sees customization extending beyond decor and technical features. “We designed the cabin of our 2600 concept to be modular and highly customizable, so clients can tailor it for specific uses,” says Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company. “That’s something usually reserved for much larger jets.”
Now that swapping out items like carpeting and upholstery even in standard layouts is de rigueurfor smaller aircraft, Citation has transferred upscale features from its flagship business jets—wireless phone charging, accent lighting, USB ports and wood flooring—to the M2 G2 in an effort to juice up ramp appeal. “Our owners want the same upgrades in their jets that they have at home,” Tannahill says. In the middle of an unprecedented home-renovation boom, that’s really saying something.