Airfinance Journal North America 2019

02-03 May 2019

Metropolitan Club New York

New York, United States

  • Sponsors >

  • BNP Paribas
    Gold Sponsors
  • ATOZ Aviation Finance
    Topic Sponsors
  • Engine Lease Finance Corporation
    Bronze Sponsors
  • CDB Aviation
  • Willis Lease Finance Corporation

Event Overview

Airfinance Journal North America returns in May 2019 for the premier gathering of aviation finance professionals across North America to engage in high-end networking & explore the most pressing challenges & opportunities facing North American aircraft finance. 

Over two days you’ll benefit from exclusive networking opportunities, ranging from our 1-2-1 meetings service; connecting you directly with who you need to meet, drinks receptions & our dedicated networking space. In addition you’ll be granted access to talks, panels & interviews with the industry’s leading lights, offering business critical insights into the issues your business is tackling on a daily basis.







Our Event Partners



08 00 AM Registration & morning refreshments
08 55 AM Chairperson's opening remarks
09 00 AM Why you should invest in aviation

The health of the aviation industry broadly correlates with global GDP and global air traffic growth. This largely due to how engrained the industry is in the broader economy. Whilst there are a number of factors to consider when deciding how to invest in this space, the fundamentals are key.
Hear an expert lay out the current state of the aviation industry’s fundamentals, including traffic growth forecasts, asset value trends and market liquidity.

09 30 AM Which metal is right for you?

Aircraft types vary widely not only between jets, regional jets & turboprops but the variance only continues within these broad categories. Should you be looking at the A320 or 737? The Max family or the Neo family? Neos or ceos? A220 or MRJ? With a flood of new capital entering this space the opportunities are as numerous as ever.

The real question however is not what’s attracting this new capital but how it can be most effectively deployed to generate target ROI for investors.

10 10 AM 5 golden rules for managing assets throughout “the cycle”

The aviation industry is famously cyclical, despite the current period of consistent growth being characterised by some industry leaders as a “super cycle”, however, the good times will likely not last forever.

The most savvy investors are able to formulate the appropriate exit strategies to ensure their investment is protected. Hear what those strategies look like and when best to employ them.

10 50 AM Morning networking & refreshment break
11 20 AM The case for investing in mid to end-of-life assets

New technology narrowbody aircraft are broadly perceived as a safe bet for investors but in an environment defined by a search for yield, do not always generate dramatic returns. Older aircraft, whilst presenting their own challenges, can represent significant opportunity for those with the right risk profiles. 

Hear the case for engaging in this market segment, how to overcome the challenges therein and generate yield.

12 00 PM Extracting value from the engines

According to Alton Aviation Consultancy, up to approximately 45% of any aircraft’s value can be found not in the airframe but on the engines, in addition to “50% of the total flying-related costs” to airlines. In other words, they’re very, very important.

Hear how investors and lessors can extract value from these assets, the health of the engine trading market and what end of life strategies are most suitable.

  • Dave Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Sun Country Airlines
12 40 PM Networking lunch
14 00 PM What you need to know when investing in the leasing space

Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s commercial aircraft fleet is operated on a lease. This highly attractive market segment has seen a deluge of liquidity and entities emerging in recent years, resulting in increased competition and more money chasing deals. Publicly listed lessors had a challenging 2018 on the stock markets, and are seen by many as undervalued.

The question for investors is what differentiates one leasing company from another. Including fundamental differences such as choosing to simply manage assets rather than own them, which markets they specialise in and how they choose to finance their fleets.

14 40 PM War stories: What happens when it all goes wrong?

Repossession and remarketing are common features of the modern aircraft leasing industry and are largely non-events, except when they aren’t. Getting your metal off the tarmac in challenging circumstances is a key test of a lessor’s expertise.

Hear stories from the front line in these negotiations and develop an understanding of how important these operations are for lessors.

  • Tom Weir, Vice President and Treasurer, American Airlines
15 20 PM Are all capital markets deals created equally?

The variety of products available to investors on the capital markets is indicative of the amount of liquidity currently in the market. From the declining EETC to the booming aircraft ABS market, there are plenty of options available to buy aircraft paper.

What is the smart move for investors in the current market looking for yield?

16 00 PM Afternoon networking break & refreshments
16 30 PM What level of issuance should we be expecting for the rest of 2019?

The  lessor bond market alone is forecasted to nearly double in size and  as lessors increasingly access the unsecured market, investors can generate increasingly attractive returns.

Will this have any impact on the frequency of capital markets issuance in the year to come?

17 10 PM Chairperson's closing remarks
17 15 PM Networking drinks reception
08 00 AM Morning networking & refreshments
08 55 AM Chairperson's opening remarks
09 00 AM To what extent has US economic growth impacted aviation?
  • Have gains across the US economy resulted in increased confidence and activity in the aviation capital markets?
  • GDP growth forecast measured against air traffic growth
  • Trends in asset valuations
09 30 AM Airline opening keynote
  • Doug Kelly, Senior Vice President - Asset Valuation, Avitas
10 00 AM Do the US capital markets have the capacity to support lessor growth?

According to some analysts, the value of the lessor bond market is primed to double in size to fulfil lessors' capital commitments. The real question, however, is whether or not the capital markets will be able to support that growth.

  • Marjan Riggi, Senior Managing Director, Kroll Bond Rating Agency
10 40 AM Morning networking & refreshment break
11 10 AM Assessing the impact of insurance backed products

A number of insurance backed financing products have emerged in aviation finance, widening the investor base and allowing airlines access to a new source of capital – but what has the overall impact of these products been on the industry?

11 50 AM Regional carriers face ageing fleets & rising maintenance cost
  • What strategies are North American regional carriers employing to meet a more challenging operating environment?
  • Should we expect a period of fleet renewal to take place in response to these trends?
  • How prominent has fuel hedging featured amongst this market place?
12 30 PM Networking lunch & close of conference
14 00 PM Alternative Investment Managers step up activity in aviation

Fitch Ratings have flagged the potential “deteriorating economic backdrop” and increased competition as reasons that the increased activity of Alternative Investment Managers (Alt-IMs) and their private equity sponsors in the leasing space may be ill timed. Hear this panel of experts assess what the ramifications of this new capital may have on the market moving forward.

14 40 PM Where are North American airlines looking to finance their 2019 deliveries?
  • Amongst a more challenging macro-environment, which financing structures make the most sense to North American airlines in 2019?
  • How strongly has the US airline industry performed so far in 2019 and how is that reflected in their fleet strategies?
  • Where in the capital markets are US airlines looking to raise capital?
15 20 PM Do narrowing aircraft values foreshadow a market correction?

Scope Ratings agency observed in a 2018 report that “approximately two years before the most recent financial crises, market values for different aircraft models narrowed sharply” and argue that we’re seeing this take place today. Are they correct in this and should we be preparing for a downturn in 2020?

16 00 PM Afternoon networking & refreshment break
16 20 PM The aircraft ABS market continues to attract new issuers
17 00 PM Lessor CEO fire-side chat
17 30 PM Chairperson's closing remarks


Dave Davis

Chief Financial Officer

Sun Country Airlines

Doug Kelly

Senior Vice President - Asset Valuation


Tom Weir

Vice President and Treasurer

American Airlines

Marjan Riggi

Senior Managing Director

Kroll Bond Rating Agency

Meghan Neenan

Senior Director

Fitch Ratings

Helene Spro Johansen

Associate Director Project Finance

Scope Ratings AG

Joseph Rohlena

Senior Director

Fitch Ratings


Attracting thousands of participants annually from airlines, leasing companies, financial institutions, investment houses and government bodies, our events provide you with an unparalleled platform from which to promote your organisation’s brand, products and services.

Find out more about our sponsorship opportunities

Gold Sponsors

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 73 markets, with more than 198,000 employees. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets in Europe, International Financial Services and Corporate & Institutional Banking.
In Asia Pacific, BNP Paribas is one of the best-positioned international financial institutions with an uninterrupted presence since 1860. Currently with over 17,000 employees* and a presence in 14 markets, BNP Paribas provides corporates, institutional and private investors with product and service solutions tailored to their specific needs. It offers a wide range of financial services covering corporate & institutional banking, wealth management, asset management, insurance, as well as retail banking and consumer financing through strategic partnerships.

Topic Sponsors

ATOZ Aviation Finance

ATOZ Aviation Finance

ATOZ Aviation Finance offers clients results-focused and pragmatic solutions in their aircraft financing, fleet planning, strategy and risk management projects. The highly experienced team, with a significant airline and aviation industry background, has a strong track record of successfully financing aviation assets of very large to smaller sizes through a wide variety of innovative and efficient structures for a diverse group of lender and investor profiles.


ATOZ Aviation Finance puts emphasis on gaining a deep understanding of clients’ needs and providing continuous guidance during the entire business process. From the ordering of aircraft until such aircraft leave the fleet, or for specific milestones within this cycle, ATOZ Aviation Finance understands how to make each project a success.


Founded in 2004, ATOZ is a high-end independent advisory firm with over 150 most skilled professionals offering a comprehensive range of tax, corporate implementation, corporate finance, transfer pricing and aviation finance services. 


Bronze Sponsors

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

Engine Lease Finance Corporation

Engine Lease Finance (ELF) is the world’s leading independent spare engine financing and leasing company, specialising in the provision of flexible short, medium and long-term spare engine support packages for the airline industry. Headquartered in Shannon, Ireland, ELF is a group company of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited ("MUL"), whose shares are wholly owned by MUL. ELF has the financing power and stability to meet the varied needs of airlines and to meet the commercial challenges presented by today’s rapidly changing world markets. ELF has access to extensive funding at favourable rates, therefore ensuring low cost flexible financing for the airline. ELF’s client base includes some of the world’s most established airlines, some of the newest start-ups and many of the seasoned LCCs around the world. The client base also includes several significant MRO providers, airframe lessors and the OEMs.

CDB Aviation

CDB Aviation

About CDB Aviation

CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC (“CDB Aviation”) is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”) a 33-year-old Chinese leasing company that is backed mainly by the China Development Bank. China Development Bank is under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council of China and is the world’s largest development finance institution. It is also the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, long-term lending and bond issuance, enjoying Chinese sovereign credit rating.

CDB Leasing is the only leasing arm of the China Development Bank and a leading company in China’s leasing industry that has been engaged in aircraft, infrastructure, ship, commercial vehicle and construction machinery leasing and enjoys a Chinese sovereign credit rating. It took an important step in July 2016 to globalize and marketize its business – listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX STOCK CODE: 1606).

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

Willis Lease has earned an industry-wide reputation for service, innovation, technical support and in-depth knowledge of commercial aviation. Our core business is leasing commercial aircraft engines to airlines, OEMs and MROs — worldwide. Along with short- and long-term leasing, we have developed and implemented strategic engine pooling programs which provide pool members with attractive benefits. We provide innovative leasing solutions to our customers. These leasing activities are integrated with engine and aircraft trading, engine lease pools supported by cutting-edge technology, as well as technical and asset management, provided through its subsidiary Willis Asset Management Limited, and various end-of-life solutions for aircraft, engines and aviation materials provided through its subsidiary, Willis Aeronautical Services, Inc. With one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of engines in the aviation industry, we can meet a wide range of customer technical and operating requirements. Quick responses to AOG emergencies illustrate how our worldwide team of dedicated professionals responds 24/7. Our experience, knowledge and leadership in engine leasing gives our customers a competitive advantage with Power to Spare — Worldwide®.


Metropolitan Club New York

One East Sixtieth Streetq,
New York,

User-added image

The Metropolitan Club is a private social club in Manhattan, New York City.

Gentlemen are required to wear jackets and ties at all times (turtlenecks and ascots are not acceptable). Appropriate attire for ladies is dresses, skirts, dressy pant suits and business pant suits. Jeans and T-shirts are absolutely not acceptable.

Complimentary Airline & Investor Passes

We invite all airlines & investors to register for a complimentary pass to attend Airfinance Journal North America.


Once you've registered you'll gain access to our bespoke AFJ Concierge Meeting Service where you tell us who you want to meet and we make it happen!

*All complimentary delegate passes are subject to approval from the Airfinance Journal Events team. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer this promotion to sell-side representatives or Investment Banks. Sell-side representatives and Investment Banks can register for this event here.

AFJ Concierge

The Airfinance Journal team recognises that you need to get as much value as possible from attending Airfinance Journal North America, especially as in the billion dollar industry of aircraft finance, it can be difficult to meet the right people at the right time.

With this in mind we’ve introduced a personalised concierge meeting service - AFJ Concierge.

Our team take the strain by doing the leg work for you, so all you need to do is arrive at Airfinance Journal North America ready to do business.


How it works

Step 1: Send the AFJ Concierge a list of up to 10 individuals or organisations you’d like to meet, along with a little explanation of why you’d like to meet them.

Step 2: Our dedicated research team will reach out to the list on your behalf. We can use our industry knowledge to suggest any additional contacts that could add value to your attendance.

Step 3: We'll diary manage to find the best time and place for you to meet.

Step 4: Check-in with our concierge team onsite.

Step 5: Get deals done!


How do I get involved?

It's simple. All you need to do is register for Airfinance Journal North America, then contact our AFJ Concierge and start arranging meetings.



Do I need to be registered for Airfinance Journal North America to take advantage of the service?
Yes. This service is only available to registered delegates of Airfinance Journal North America.

What if people on my list don’t want to meet me?
We'll do our best to arrange meetings with your wishlist. If someone on your list doesn't wish to meet you, we'll use our industry know-how to suggest other delegates that might be of interest to you.

It's key that you provide us with a solid rationale of why you want to meet each person on your list, the better the reasonsing, the more likely they are to agree to a meeting and the better informed we will be to suggest additional delegates for you.

How will you schedule the meeting?
The AFJ Concierge will either use our meetings system to book the appointment for you or they will send you and the person you wish to meet a calendar invite.

What happens if the person I’m meeting doesn’t turn up?
If you let the team onsite know that the person you're supposed to be meeting hasn't turned up, they will be able to check if the person is onsite and reach out to them for you. Depending on the circumstances, we will do our best to reschedule the meeting for you.

Will I get the contact details of the person I’m meeting beforehand?
If the person you want to meet has agreed for their details to be shared pre-event then yes. If not you'll be able to collect their details during your meeting.

Have a question? Contact the AFJ Concierge today