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Airfinance Journal conference set to draw over 2,000 from aviation industry

Event will address key issues affecting industry and allow attendees to network

The Airfinance Journal Dublin 2019 conference in the Convention Centre Dublin takes place from January 22nd to 24th next

The Airfinance Journal Dublin 2019 conference in the Convention Centre Dublin takes place from January 22nd to 24th next


More than 2,000 aviation industry professionals from 85 countries around the world will gather at the Airfinance Journal Dublin 2019 conference in the Convention Centre Dublin from January 22nd to 24th next. “The conference is going for 21 years,”says Laura Mueller, managing director of conference organiser Airfinance Journal.

“It is the oldest event on the Irish aviation finance calendar. Among the key issues addressed will be the consolidation in leasing companies and airlines; the impact of changes in the value of the US dollar on the industry; what’s happening with fuel prices.”

Sessions during the conference will address topics such as the prospect of strong airline performance continuing through a challenging macro environment; how will airlines react to a shifting macro-economic environment featuring higher fuel prices and interest rates; if there will be increased fleet turnover as the economic case for mid-life assets deteriorate; and how airlines expect to develop their fleet planning over the next 10-15 years and what that means for delivery profiles.

On the issue of the headwinds facing airline treasuries, the conference will explore how airlines are strengthening their position vis-à-vis rising interest rates; what fuel hedging strategies airlines have in place in the face of rising fuel prices; and the financing structures which are best suited to today’s macro environment.

Stellar line-up

Among the stellar line-up of speakers who will contribute their thoughts on these topics are Declan Ryan, managing partner and executive chair of Irelandia and Viva Air; Ricardo Javier Sanchez Baker, chief financial officer, Aeromexico; Antonoaldo Neves, chief executive officer, TAP Air Portugal; Kieran O’Brien, head of Aviation Finance & Leasing Advisory with KPMG; and Chris Monroe, senior vice president, Southwest Airlines.

In addition, the CEOs of some of the world’s most influential leasing companies will discuss what they see as the future of aviation finance. These include Alec Burger, president and CEO, GECAS; Aengus Kelly, CEO, AerCap; and Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon.

“Also, for the first time we will have open sessions which anyone can attend,” says Mueller. “Adam Pilarski, senior vice president of Avitas, one of the industry’s most prominent and respected economists, will give his forecast on the industry’s future and what headwinds we ought to be cognisant of in his trademark entertaining style. We will also have John Leahy, former chief operating officer with Airbus and the person who was most responsible for making Airbus a fierce competitor to Boeing, giving his take on the future of the aviation industry. Those sessions will be open to everyone in Dublin. They will be both informative and entertaining and people should come along come even if they not registered.”

Formal sessions

These formal sessions are important but much of the real action will take place in specially designed pods or igloos where banks, lessors and airlines can meet in private to do business with one another. Networking is also of key importance, of course.

“Anyone in Dublin can come in to drink coffee and network and talk,” says Mueller. “The Convention Centre Dublin is open for business. People should come along to listen, to learn, to network, to eat – there are lots of opportunities to do business. We expect the same attendance as last year with about 1,900 or 2,000 industry professionals visiting.”

A new feature this year is the AFJ UCD aviation finance school, a two-day course taught by a combination of University College Dublin academics and leading industry figures . “It is the industry’s only two-day intensive course,” Mueller points out. “Participants in the course will join peers from across Europe to gain in-depth knowledge of the latest funding products, discover how to stay ahead of the curve in competitive markets and learn how to put together complex and innovative financing structures.”

But the conference is more than just about business and learning. “It’s all about having fun at the end of the day,” says Mueller. “It’s a few days when you can be informed, do business and have a laugh.”