Comlux foresees a modestly growing charter market for corporate versions of widebody passenger jets as more governments turn from owning aircraft in the face of increased scrutiny of their spending.

The Swiss charter provider, which set up a Middle East base in Bahrain two years ago, exhibited its first Boeing at the Bahrain air show - a former airline 767 which went into service late last year.

The 60-seat aircraft, outfitted at Comlux's facility in Indianapolis, is split into three areas: a "VVIP" bedroom, bathroom, dining room and office at the front; and a business class section and economy cabin at the rear. It is being pitched at heads of state, royal families and governments.

"We see this as a niche market, which could probably expand as governments move away from being able to justify owning aircraft," said Richard Gaona, Comlux president. He said Comlux might look to add a VIP version of an Airbus A350 or Boeing 787, but the total market for such aircraft was "no more than two or three in the world".

He added: "This is very much a type of aircraft for a certain market. When people ask how expensive it is to charter, I say it is cheaper than two [737-based] BBJs."

Source: Flight International