Genesis Custom Jetliners, a U.S. firm that specializes in the conversion of previously operated airliners to VIP and head-of-state airplanes, has opened a sales office in Dubai in a bid to carve out a share of the Middle East luxury jet market.
The sales office’s opening officially introduces the Genesis conversion concept to the region, viewed as ripe for sales of VIP airplanes to heads of state and wealthy individuals. The Chicago firm offers a range of airplanes for retrofit, including the
MD-80, Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families, as well as others at prices claimed to start at less than $20 million.
Genesis conversions are delivered to the buyer with a new custom interior, paint, auxiliary fuel tanks and fresh maintenance, ensuring the airplane “looks, feels and performs” like new. “Cabin space and amenities are on par with those of the Boeing Business Jet and the Airbus Corporate Jetliner, but the acquisition cost of a Genesis Custom Jetliner is only a fraction of the current market values of a comparable BBJ or ACJ,” according to Victoria Ricks, the company’s vice president of marketing.
As an example of the value such a conversion can offer, Ricks noted that a Boeing 737-300 could be converted with addition of winglets, auxiliary fuel tanks, up-to-date maintenance checks and new paint and interior for $25 million to $30 million. A new BBJ, she said, can cost two to three times as much.
Owned by BCI Aircraft Leasing, also based in Chicago, Genesis helps buyers pick the best airframe for the type of flying they plan to do, and then delivers the airplane with a new custom interior and paint within 12 months for an agreed fixed price. The company operates a completion center in the U.S. and can tap into the design and certification engineering resources of affiliate companies Goderich Aircraft and DRB Aviation Consultants.
The company’s Dubai office is headed by Bilal Yousef, a 20-year aviation industry veteran who previously was vice president of business development and strategic planning for Abu Dhabi charter firm Royal Jet and held positions with NetJets, Alsalam Aircraft Co. and Continental Airlines.