Aero promises a new class of aviation. Meet the designer

Aero is a semi-private jet service on a mission to do things differently. Launched in Europe last year with a team that includes aerospace engineers and an Uber co-founder, its premise is to bring the spirit of the golden age of aviation but imagined for modern life .

It is not an entirely private service. Instead, the first class cabin can accommodate sixteen people and can be rented by a group or occupied by strangers. Yet the travel experience is similar, meaning customers can arrive just 30 minutes before departure, concierge service is on hand in the terminal, and there’s no need to queue for the passport control. Plus, the cost is a fraction of chartering a private jet, with prices just under £1,000 (around $1,200) per seat each way.

The seats are 80% hand-stitched Italian leather, and the clean, uncluttered cabin benefits from a Bongiovi Acoustic Lab sound system and ambient lighting. Aero partners with a selection of luxury hotels and restaurants. Finally, Aero’s routes include favorite European destinations connecting London, Nice, Ibiza and Mykonos.

With design and customer experience being paramount to the brand promise, I sat down with Aero Industrial Designer Justin Mamaril to discuss luxury air travel in the modern age.

How do you use design to evoke the golden age of air transport?

We want to usher in a new generation of air travel with beautifully elegant spaces supported by premium materials evoking an upscale, sophisticated and understated experience.

How do you express this through design?

The cabin looks more minimal and sleek by simplifying and removing unnecessary parts. From interior design customization to the introduction of ambient lighting based on the mood of the situation to a one-of-a-kind audio system, our jets offer an optimistic view of the future of flight.

What is the expression of luxury in this new era?

Flying over the landscape is one of the best ways to appreciate the diverse and delicate ecosystems of our planet. A shift in aviation is occurring toward finding more sustainable fuels, responsible materials, and reducing waste in every guest’s experience. As Aero continues to grow, we hope to reframe modern luxury as a conscious and organized approach to reducing the carbon impact of our business and our customers as much as possible.

How important is it to explore materials beyond the traditional in the interior, luxurious yet eco-friendly materials that tell a more progressive story of luxury?

We know that our community and our colleagues care deeply about the environment. So, a lot of attention has been paid to the materials used in the cabin, and we continue to iterate and refine how we can use lighter and more responsible materials. By working closely with our suppliers, we can better understand where our materials come from and how they are produced more responsibly from cradle to grave.

Are there any alternative materials on the horizon to consider?

A new generation of aerospace materials is beginning to emerge from development, and we’re taking a close look at how these can contribute to a brighter future for aviation. Of course, we must ensure that any new surface, material or part placed on our jets is certified and tested to the highest regulatory standards before implementing it on our jets.

To what extent do you consider recyclability and circularity of components in the design process?

Circularity is built into our design process – we completely refurbish the ERJ135 to create a bespoke 16-seat jet experience, offering maximum comfort. By re-developing custom interiors, we have the opportunity to collaborate with our Aero Maintenance team and implement repairability into our designs, from initial concept to final execution.

Do you have a typical customer in mind when designing the jets?

Our typical customers are forward-thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs and game changers, moving the world forward with their knowledge and creativity, and we design our jets with them in mind.

Ultimately, what do you want your customers to take away from Aero that no other private airline can offer?

We coined the term “jet service” to suggest private jets and separate from commercial airlines as we sit in between. Our customers value privacy, peace and security more than ever. Flying with Aero is a welcoming sanctuary from flying with commercial or private airlines, offering personalized service with a human touch.

Read about Rolls-Royce’s push for more bespoke cars herePolestar’s latest electric roadsterand the last natural fiber enter the automotive world.

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