Project Arabesque – What Do We Know About The All-Premium-Class Airline?

Arabesque is an airline startup based in the United Arab Emirates which looks to provide luxury air services globally with an Airbus A320neo family. While the project is currently in its first steps, we thought about taking a look at it and seeing who is behind the future luxury airline. Let’s investigate further.

A new all-premium-class airline?

There are few all-premium-class airlines globally. Carriers like La Compagnie offer an all-inclusive experience to their top-paying customers. Other companies like Four Seasons have launched private jet experiences onboard Airbus A321LR jetliners; British Airways used to have an all–business Airbus A318 serving the route between London Heathrow and New York’s JFK, but the airline closed the service during the pandemic.

Now, we may have a new competitor in this exclusive sector with Arabesque. This project is described as “a multinational game-changing boutique transportation provider targeting luxury air services around the world.”

Project Arabesque (it is a working title) will be an all-premium-class airline serving leisure destinations globally, with an Airbus A320neo family fleet on long-haul routes, the airline said this week in a statement.

Arabesque is working with paulwylde, a brand, innovation, design and communications consultancy based in San Francisco, US. paulwylde has previously worked with Hawaiian Airlines designing its first class and economy cabins. This company has also worked with JetBlue, Air Canada Rouge, Saudi Arabia, British Airways, and more aviation-related companies on different projects.


To understand what Arabesque could deliver to its customers, we can take a look at La Compagnie’s current product. Photo: La Compagnie.

An all A320neo family fleet?

Arabesque stated that it would operate the Airbus A320neo family aircraft on long-haul routes. To employ a narrowbody on long-haul routes, we immediately think about Airbus’ A321LR and XLR models, which have ranges between 4,000 and 4,700 nautical miles (between 7,400 and 8,700 kilometers). Airbus expects to deliver the first A321XLR next year.

The A321XLR can easily reach long-haul destinations like Reykjavík and Cape Town from Dubai.

Nonetheless, the Arabesque management did not specify which specific aircraft could use in the future. About the decision to operate narrowbody jetliners on long-haul routes, Max Nilov, Arabesque’s Chief Strategy Officer, said,

“The reduced seat count and lower operational and ownership costs against the cost-inefficient widebody airplanes allow us to invest more in customer comfort.”

A321XLR infographic

The A321XLR boasts numerous advantages over its Airbus A321neo classmates. Image: Airbus

Who is behind Project Arabesque?

Project Arabesque is a startup with a long way to go before launching flights. The airline has already chosen its first operational base, where it will store more than 20 aircraft, and has picked 60 routes it could operate.

The first base and destinations will be revealed in the following weeks, together with the name and brand identity, said the company in a statement.

Discover more aviation news.

Arabesque is currently being led by Max Nilov, who serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Previously, Mr. Nilov worked as a regional director in the Middle East for Boeing; he was also a consultant for Lufthansa for over ten years, and the head of Strategy for Aeroflot.

Max Nilov said,

“The leisure market, especially the luxury leisure market, has been strong even during the pandemic and will be the fastest-growing travel segment in the future years. We are well-positioned to bring something new into this segment with our partners.”

Arabesque is currently looking to fill several vacancies. The airline is looking for a Chief Commercial Officer, a Chief Operating Officer, and a Chief Pilot, among other positions.

Would you be interested in flying in an all-premium-class airline like Arabesque? Let us know in the comments below.


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