Sisson and Wegel launch AVi8 Air Capital

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed November 21, 2016 11:42

Sisson and Wegel launch AVi8 Air Capital

Two aviation industry leaders have launched a new commercial aircraft leasing company, AVi8 Air Capital, which will be headquartered in Dublin with a commercial office in Miami.

Co-founders, Ray Sisson will serve as the company’s Executive Chairman, while Ed Wegel will assume chief executive officer duties at AVi8. The company, which will focus on building its fleet with the newest, most desirable narrowbody commercial aircraft, reports that it is in process with several leading global investment banks and is currently analysing potential deals.

“AVi8 is a new concept designed to take aircraft leasing to the next level: both the development of a strong, value-delivering portfolio of aircraft assets and the unparalleled solutions we will deliver to our airline customers,” said Ray Sisson. “We are confident that this marriage of my experience growing high performance, large lessor platforms, combined with Ed’s experience as the CEO of a successful scheduled service and charter airline, provide for a unique marriage of skillsets in our industry…more nimble solutions, better performance for our airline customers.

“We look forward to establishing and growing the AVi8 fleet, partnering with lessors, airlines and manufacturers to deliver leasing and financing solutions to the global aviation community.”

Ed Wegel, CEO of AVi8 stated: “Ray and I are both very proud to launch AVi8 Air Capital.  We have worked together for years and knew that the time had come for a leasing platform built to drive value across the portfolio while providing executional and solutions excellence for the airlines we serve.”

Ray Sisson is a co-founder and executive chairman at AVi8 Air Capital. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the transport investments of Hudson Structured Capital Management.

Sisson was formerly president and chief executive officer of AWAS from 2010-2016. At the time of Sisson’s departure, AWAS was a leading, global aviation leasing company with a fleet of over 300 aircraft worth over $12.5 billion, serving over 110 airlines in 49 countries.

Sisson served in several leadership positions at GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) from 1995-2008 including SVP and General Manager for the Middle East, Africa and Russia region. He also has served as president & CEO of Titan Aviation Leasing and as chief commercial officer of SR Technics. Sisson started his career in New York as a corporate lawyer specializing in aircraft finance.

Ed Wegel is a co-founder and the CEO of AVi8 Air Capital and has over 30 years of experience in the airline industry, investment banking and aviation finance. He has been the architect of several major aircraft purchase orders with Boeing, Embraer and Mitsubishi Aircraft.

Wegel joined AVi8 Air Capital from Eastern Air Lines Group where he was founder and served as its president and CEO.  Under his direction Eastern grew to a fleet of six modern 737-800 aircraft within months. He also led negotiations leading to the orders for 10 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 20 new Mitsubishi MRJ-90 aircraft.

Prior to Eastern, Wegel was President, CEO and a Director of Chautauqua Airlines/U.S. Airways Express.  While at Chautauqua, he originated an order, and structured and raised the equity, for the acquisition of 80 Embraer aircraft. Wegel also served as president, COO and a director of BWIA International Airways and was a co-founder and member of the board of directors of Atlantic Coast Airlines (United Express).

Wegel began his career in investment banking and was a Vice President in the investment banking/restructuring division of Lehman Brothers where he worked on several major airline restructurings and ran Lehman’s portfolio of 75 commercial jet aircraft.

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Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed November 21, 2016 11:42