Editor’s Note: This CNN Travel series is, or was, sponsored by the destination it highlights. CNN retains full editorial control over subject matter, reporting and frequency of the articles and videos within the sponsorship, in compliance with our policy.
Imagine boarding a plane and stepping into a “cocoon-like” private bedroom fitted with a king-size bed, and a bathroom featuring the largest rain and massage shower ever built on an aircraft, which can merge with the sleeping quarters to form a self-contained retreat, providing total privacy.
That’s the centerpiece of Lufthansa Technik’s new cabin design for the upcoming BBJ 777-9 — the private jet version of Boeing’s new widebody aircraft, the 777X. Called CelestialSTAR, the design takes full advantage of the plane’s extremely spacious cabin, which offers 343 square meters (about 3,700 square feet) of space and pairs with the aircraft’s ability to stay in the air for 22 hours — which means it could connect any two cities in the world without stopovers, according to Boeing.
But with the combined price of the plane plus the custom interior easily exceeding half a billion dollars, this will be a luxury for the very few. Lufthansa Technik, which is the engineering and maintenance arm of Germany’s flag carrier, says that the concept, which was unveiled this week at the Dubai Airshow, primarily targets customers from royal families in the Middle East.
That’s why the design incorporates traditional patterns and influences from the region’s cultural heritage. “It’s a combination between a Middle Eastern touch and a very modern, sleek design,” says Hassan Gasim, a sales director at Lufthansa Technik. “It’s a combination of the old and the new world and this region is famous for that — it values the traditions of the past, but is also very confident about the future.”
Other features include a “work & balance” area next to the bedroom and bathroom, fitted with rotating and sliding seats, which passengers can use around large desks but can also turn and move towards the divans off to the side for conversations and meetings. The room comes with “trapezoidal wall niches,” which can be used as displays or exhibits, and then closed to become invisible within the wall structure.
The large dining area, Lufthansa says, functions as a “majlis” — the traditional Middle Eastern gathering and meeting room — and offers 11 individual seats and features such as monitors that can be fully retracted into the table. The second half of the cabin has six deluxe suites for guests or a delegation, and there are 32 additional seats in the executive area, equivalent to business class seating. At the back end of the fuselage there’s still space for an Entourage Area, similar…