Airfinance Interview Questions

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    Senior business leaders join us for an insightful interview with Fionnuala Meehan, then Head of Google Ireland. As well as career highlights, we will explore her thoughts on the future of the online technology sector in Ireland, Dynamic Problem Solving and Helicopter Management, Nurturing Culture – Diversity, Inclusion, Respect, AI & Machine Learning, Technology Optimism & Sustainability, and on Google on Giving Back to the Community.

    Eddie O’Connor, then Executive Chairman of Mainstream answers business leaders’ questions on topics such as keeping people motivated, developing resilience, coping with the struggles and sleepless nights, electrifying the 2 million cars on Irish roads and the implications for the Irish electricity grid, and the possibility of a European super grid in the future.

    The inaugural Signium Interview was held on the 9th March 2016 with Patrick Kennedy, then Deputy Governor of Bank of Ireland and Chairman of CarTrawler, the private-equity backed online travel business, shares his insights on the transformation of Power Power under his 10 year leadership, their innovative and mischievous branding and marketing, the acquisition of Sportsbet Australia, the failures and learnings along the way, among other things.

    Martin McEvoy has over thirty years’ experience running private sector Search & Selection service providers in the UK & Ireland. He was General Manager of a specialist recruitment consultancy’s UK and Irish operations prior to foundin… 04 February 2022

    A Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Master’s in Accounting from University College, Dublin, Aengus was appointed Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of AerCap in 2011. He previously served as CEO of AerCap’s U.S. operations (2008-2011) and was AerCap’s Group Treasurer (2005-2007). Aengus started his career in the aviation leasing and financing business with Guinness Peat Aviation(GPA) in 1998 and its successors AerFi in Ireland and debis AirFinance and AerCap in Amsterdam. Prior to this he spent three years with KPMG in Dublin.

    Airlines often have 20-year or 25-year depreciation policies, but the book values of the 10- to 15-yearold aircraft these operators own bear little resemblance to current market values.

    He adds: “We create an off-balance-sheet leasing solution, whereby an airline sells the aircraft into an SPV [special purpose vehicle] co-owned by a third-party investor and the airline. That SPV leases back the aircraft to the airline in question and is then funded so the airline gets to remove the aircraft from its books and convert some of its original equity into a co-investment. It is quite a fancy way of airlines to get out of the aircraft without taking an expensive impairment charge. The leaseback period is typically three to five years, but can vary and at lease expiry the SPV is on the hook for residual values.” Banks, states Fitzgerald, are now often keener to finance a leased portfolio of aircraft rather than providing bilateral airline loans, and will use the structure, and the creditworthiness of the underlying carrier, to offer cheaper debt to the SPV.

    Gary Fitzgerald, the managing director of newly formed aviation consultancy Stratos, is at pains to highlight that airlines and investors are faced with fundamental challenges. “Airlines today have large fleets of ageing assets that have lost market value much quicker than anyone expected causing a worrying mismatch,” says Fitzgerald. More than half the world’s fleet is leased, and airlines have become good at understanding leasing, especially for new delivery sale/leasebacks. Where carriers face problems is with their older aircraft.

    19 November 2013 | Fitzgerald sets up Stratos, a new Monaco-based aircraft leasing advisory boutique opened last week. Dickon Harris sits down with its managing director ahead of the launch to discuss the firm’s business model.

    This is a niche that Stratos aims to fill. Fitzgerald was previously a commercial vice-president at Avinco. While at Avinco he realized that airlines have intermittent aircraft financing requirements and were not always aware of the best financing offers or lease terms available.

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