Irish business lobby group Ibec has created a new representative body, Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI), which has the buy-in of all major Ireland-based lessors.
ALI was launched by Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe on July 3 in Dublin, as the first representative body specific to the aircraft-leasing sector.
The body’s mission is to maintain Ireland’s position as a global aircraft-leasing hub. The move comes as other financial centers, such as Asia, actively seek to attract the aircraft leasing industry.
“Ireland effectively invented aircraft leasing in the 1970s, pioneered by Tony Ryan,” ALI chair and SMBC Aviation Capital COO David Swan said. “However, we cannot become complacent and the principal objective of this body is to work with government to ensure that Ireland remains the best place in the world to establish and run an aircraft-leasing company.”
ALI has 17 members, including four of the world’s largest aircraft lessors: Aercap, Avolon, GECAS and SMBC Aviation Capital. GECAS CCO Declan Kelly has been appointed as vice-chair and will succeed Swan at the end of his two-year tenure in 2020.
The body will act as a “coordinated voice for the industry,” focusing on skills and education, building on Ireland’s 74 double-taxation agreements and developing associated industries. These include maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities at Dublin and Shannon Airports and specialised financial and legal services firms.
“Ireland is a global leader in the aviation financing industry due in part to our extensive network of double-taxation treaties, our specialist skilled staff and our focussed support for the sector through, for example, the 2018 Action Plan for Ireland’s IFS2020 Strategy; where aviation finance has been identified as one of the priority areas,” Donohoe said.
Over 50 leasing companies based in Ireland, managing over 60% of all leased aircraft worldwide, supporting 5,000 jobs and contributing over €550 million ($641 million) annually to the local economy.
Ibec is Ireland’s largest lobby group, spanning 42 different trade associations and representing companies that employ over 70% of the private-sector workforce in Ireland.
ALI is affiliated with Financial Services Ireland, the Ibec group representing the financial services industry.