Above and BeOnd

You have to be brave (and very confident) to start an airline with just one aircraft. Operational issues or technical glitches can ground that plane, messing up the whole flight schedule because you’ve got no backup machines. 

And you have to be even braver if the airline you start is an all-business carrier and the onboard experience is promoted as the best in the skies. Because, from Day One, you are in the spotlight and you cannot but deliver at your best.

BeOnd Airlines (B4) has been operating under this kind of pressure since its inaugural flight from Malè—the capital of the island nation of the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean—to Riyadh on November 15, 2023. The carrier, a joint venture set up by the Emirati investment firm Arabesque and the Maldivian hospitality company SIMDI Group, was founded in November 2022 by former Boeing Regional Director of Sales in the Middle East and CIS Max Nilov, and long-time Global C-level Executive Tero Taskila.

From the start, BeOnd marketed itself as the world’s first all-business leisure carrier (and, along with French operator La Compagnie, one of only two all-business airlines in the world). The name itself (a cool reworking of the word 'beyond') is a commitment to excellence, an explicit declaration of intent to go beyond the expectations of travelers and beyond what other airlines deliver in their Premium cabins.

To deliver such an extraordinary flight experience, the airline created a unique cabin within what is probably one of the most ordinary aircraft around: the Airbus A319. The airplane itself has a very peculiar story: it started life back in 2004 wearing the colors of the English low-cost carrier EasyJet (U2), then flew for another LCC, Sky Airline (H2) of Chile, before operating for German leisure operators Sundair (SR) and TUIfly (X3). In August 2023, following 19 years flown as a 'peon' of the skies in high-density cabin configurations, the plane was acquired by BeOnd, which transformed it into one of the world’s most beautiful aircraft.

Externally, the twin jet received a dark gray and copper livery with bold 'BeOnd' titles running along most of the fuselage. Internally, the 150+ Economy seats were ripped away and replaced with 44 ivory-white armchairs upholstered with Italian-made Poltrona Frau leather, which can be transformed into lie-flat beds. The Italian flair extends to the carbon fiber structure that envelops every pair of seats…

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