x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise executive Robert Genise steps down

The head of leasing at Dubai Aerospace Enterprise is leaving the company as a debt repayment deadline looms.

Robert Genise had stepped down after four years at the helm of its crucial leasing division. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Robert Genise had stepped down after four years at the helm of its crucial leasing division. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

A top executive at Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has left the company as a deadline looms to delay repayment of more than US$700 million (Dh2.57 billion) of bank loans due next month.

DAE made a splash in 2006 when it was introduced as a $15bn aircraft leasing and services company to complement Dubai's airport development boom. Its customers include Virgin Blue, Emirates, Easyjet and Kingfisher.

But recently a number of executives have left amid the cancellation of orders this year for 62 new planes.

The company confirmed yesterday that Robert Genise had stepped down after four years at the helm of its crucial leasing division. Mr Genise became the chief executive of DAE Capital in 2007.

"We will take this opportunity to consolidate the management of this business in Dubai," said Khalifa Al Daboos, the DAE managing director. "The business will report to the [chief operating officer] of DAE, and will be managed in a more integrated manner with the rest of DAE."

Mr Genise is leaving because he "wanted to be involved in a more entrepreneurial venture", the DAE said.

DAE announced last month it made a profit of $10.3m last year, a significant improvement from previous years, as air travel staged a rebound after the global downturn.

Having taken on large amounts of debt to finance its operations and aircraft purchases, however, the company was forced to scale back its growth plans in March and April, cancelling $4.7bn of aircraft orders from Airbus and Boeing. The company's total publicly disclosed debt is about $2.7bn, according to Bloomberg News figures. A $500m term loan and a $225m revolving credit facility come due on July 23, the figures show.

afitch@thenational.ae