Completion and Refurbishment Centers

Buyers' Guide » 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009 - 5:00am

Despite the recent public flogging of owners of private jets for allegedly engaging in wretched excess, we suspect that cabin completion and refurbishment centers have yet to meet an owner who wants a cabin with Naugahyde seats, paper plates and plastic champagne glasses. In fact, the cost of outfitting or refurbishing the cabin remains second only to the purchase price on the list of expenses associated with buying a new or used business jet.

In mid-2008, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Abdul Aziz Al Saud, chairman of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Company, ordered the first A380 to be outfitted as a personal transport. The base price of an A380, before the cabin completion, is about $325 million and those familiar with the business say the cost of the interior will be "significant," which in this case means well into nine figures.

As the prince could undoubtedly attest, you can get pretty much anything you want for your cabin-assuming, of course, that the aviation authorities will approve it and you're willing to pay for it.

The following is a list of some leading manufacturer and independent completion and refurbishment centers, as well as some exterior-paint shops.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais