Top 10 facts about Ireland’s Aircraft Leasing Sector

Over recent years, Ireland has become one of the leading hubs for the aircraft leasing sector globally. Fiona McCabe, Head of Investment Management at IDA Ireland, believes Ireland is now the “the major hub for China’s aircraft leasing market”

Here are some facts and figures about the past, present and future of the aviation business in Ireland that have contributed to both its success to date and a promising future ahead.

Fact 1: Ireland has a 40 year involvement in the industry. Ireland became an early player in global aircraft leasing with the foundation of Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) in the 1970’s by Aer Lingus and the Guinness Peat Group. This has helped cement the country’s position as the top global destination for aviation leasing companies.

Fact 2: Major players in the industry have established operations in Ireland. Today, most of the world’s major aircraft lessors, financiers and arrangers have established Irish operations from which they finance and lease aircrafts on a global basis. It’s seen as one of the great Irish economic success stories and a key contributor to the Irish economy.

Fact 3: Sector growth has had a positive knock-on effect on large professional service firms . The volume of market activity being managed from Ireland has grown so much that most of the large professional services firms in Ireland – legal, financial and technical – have dedicated teams to support the aviation leasing sector.

Fact 4: Ireland’s plays host to the two largest global aviation finance conferences each year. Ireland’s standing as the primary location for aircraft leasing firms is further evidenced by the annual hosting of the two largest global aviation finance conferences, attracting over 3,000 international delegates to Dublin each year.

Fact 5: The stock of leased aircraft increased from €27.4bn in 2007 to €77.5bn in 2014, with the largest growth, over €30bn (65%), recorded in 2014 following the arrival of new entrants in the sector. (source: CSO)

Fact 6: Much of the growth in the aircraft leasing industry comes from the emerging Asia-Pac Region – China in particular – which is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest aviation market by 2024.

Fact 7: In July 2018, a new IBEC-affiliated industry body, Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI) , was launched in Dublin. The group has 17 members, including four of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, Aercap, Avalon, GECAS and SMBC Aviation Capital.

Fact 8: ALI is looking to extend the Republic’s 74 tax treaties. To ensure Ireland can maintain its market position, ALI is looking for Government to extend the Republic’s 74 existing tax treaties to countries such as Argentina, Indonesia, and Japan, where there is high demand for new aircraft.

Fact 9: Brexit impact in the UK may attract more lessors to Ireland What seems likely is that Brexit will give rise to more challenging regulatory or trading conditions for UK based companies which, given the global nature of the industry, could see lessors relocate to the Irish market.

Fact 10: Continued growth is projected to contribute a further €3 billion to the Irish economy over the next five years. The air transport sector has doubled in size every 15 years and is set to continue to expand, potentially at an even faster rate.

At GKR we are one of the leading recruiters for the aircraft leasing sector in Ireland. To find out more, speak to a member of our dedicated aircraft leasing team or you can check out all our latest vacancies here

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