Aircraft company Avalon founder and CEO to step down

Jet lessee Avalon’s founding chief executive, Domnal Slattery, is set to step down as chief executive later this year.

r Slattery founded the firm 12 years ago after a career in aviation financing with Guinness Pete Aviation and GECAS.

He founded his own advisory and investment firm, International Aviation Management Group, and private equity firm Claret Capital, which he sold to investors.

Avalon said he is leaving “to pursue a range of other interests in a non-executive capacity.” Mr Slattery is non-executive chairman of UK firm Vertical Aerospace, with whom Avalon signed a $2 billion deal last year for 500 electric air taxis. That Liscannor, Co. There is also a part-owner of a pub in Clare.

One of Avalon’s other co-founders, Andy Cronin, current chairman and chief financial officer, will assume the role of designated CEO.

“I am proud to move away from Avalon, leaving the business in a strong financial and competitive position, and in the hands of a leadership team that I know will continue to excel,” said Mr. Slattery.

Chief Commercial Officer Paul Gainey, who is also a founding member of the firm, will take over as chairman with immediate effect.

The leadership change comes a year after Avalon announced the retirements of former president and chief commercial officer, John Higgins, and ex-chief operating officer, Tom Ashe.

Both were founding members of the company.

Since it was founded in 2010, Avalon has grown from a private equity-backed start-up to the world’s second largest aircraft leasing firm, with over $30bn in assets.

Owned and managed a fleet of 591 aircraft with orders and commitments for 260 as of the end of June.

As of Q2 results, it has 146 airline customers in 62 countries.

In the six months to June, Avalon reported a net income loss of $173m (€171m), rising to a profit of $86m (€85m) when Russia was excluded.

The firm has ceased operations in Russia since President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine in February, landing 10 planes in the country as of March.

Avalon currently has net assets of less than $30.5bn (€30.1bn), down $391m at its full-year 2021 valuation.

In the three months leading up to June, Avalon recognized $539 million in lease revenue and executed a total of 54 lease transactions.

It entered into a letter of intent for the sale and leaseback of 13 aircraft and the appointment of 31. It sold the two aircraft it owned and entered into a binding sale agreement for 30.

Avalon generated $305m in net cash from operating activities.

It ended the quarter with over $16bn of unencumbered assets and net leverage of 2.4.

Rating agency Fitch has confirmed Avalon’s credit rating at BBB- with a stable outlook.

As of the end of June, it had $6.7bn in total available liquidity and contract sales, which included $4.9bn in unsolicited credit facilities.

Avalon has extended the maturity date of its $745m revolving credit facility from 2024 to 2027.

Air travel has been recovering since the pandemic, although passenger numbers at Ireland’s five main airports were still down a fifth from pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.

Since then, strikes and staff shortages have wreaked havoc on Europe’s airports, with carriers including Aer Lingus, EasyJet, Lufthansa, British Airways and Wiz Air stepping in to limit traffic to thousands of flights and airports.

Named CEO Andy Cronin said the recovery and Avalon’s “strong” liquidity and order book undermine the firm’s “confidence” in the medium term.

“The rebound in demand has been met with operational challenges at airlines and airports, but we are seeing broad-based demand for new and used aircraft as passengers seek to return to the skies,” Mr Cronin said.