Airline Economics 40 under 40 2021 & Mentors announced

Young talent demonstrate skill and fortitude under the harshest of industry conditions.

Airline Economics, the flagship publication dedicated to the commercial aviation finance and leasing industry owned by Aviation News Ltd, has announced the 2021 40 under 40 group.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its impact on the aviation industry has caused a raft of young talent to step up in a major way. Or in the words of one airline executive: “Nothing like trial-by-fire to test one’s mettle”. There has been a concern that the aviation finance and leasing community remains dominated by veterans and industry stalwarts, with some voicing concerns that the successor bench was looking a “little skinny”. However, the Airline Economics 40 under 40 list for 2021 has been compiled from a record amount of nominations and an unprecedented amount of endorsements for candidates from junior to incredibly senior members of the broad aviation community. In fact, all 40 members of the final list received 320 nominations in total, with more than 80% of those from clients. Moreover, this year for the first time, the gender balance has substantially improved with women making up 45% of the list.

“Our sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to nominate and endorse entries to this year’s 40 under 40,” says Victoria Tozer-Pennington, editor and co-founder of Airline Economics. “Our congratulations to all of those talented individuals who were nominated. The impressive and substantial achievements by all individuals on our short list this year is testament to the breadth of young talent in the aviation community, which is well populated with the next generation of C-suite executives to lead aviation’s recovery and advancement over the next decade and beyond.”

Although the 40 under 40 group is not ranked, Airline Economics does present a Future Leader award to the individual with the most, and the most impressive, nominations from clients and senior industry figures. This year’s recipient is Marie-Aude Gagnon Rousseau, senior director of fleet transactions at Air Canada. Marie-Aude has been singled out for recognition with a record number nominations from peers, clients and industry grandees, who all highlight her professionalism and leadership abilities, as well as her flawless reputation as a steely negotiator with a consummate knowledge of the industry.

In 2021, we have once again added the Highly Commended designation to those individuals to recognise the calibre and sheer quantity of their supporting nominations. These are: Gerard Browne, VP Engine Trading at GECAS; Nuno Leal, Senior Advisor at World Star Aviation; Louise McNamee, Legal Counsel at Goshawk; and Andrea Wilson, Vice President of Insurance at BOC Aviation.

Given the prolonged crisis in the aviation industry caused by the longevity of the pandemic crisis and the restrictions on air travel, all successful 40 under 40 members were asked to comment on their experiences of the current crisis and their hopes for the future.

“Once again the confidence in the creativity and resilience of the aviation industry and its professional community has shone through in the comments from this year’s 40 under 40,” comments Victoria. “Their experiences of how collegial the entire industry has been as it pulled together to support clients, partners and suppliers through the depth of the worst crisis our industry has ever experienced made for heartening reading. Sustainability was also still high on the agenda for the next generation of industry executives, with many fascinated by the rapid developments of the future of flight offerings from eVTOL aircraft orders from mainline carriers and leasing companies, to the move to sustainable aviation fuel and more carbon-busting initiatives.”

For the second time, all 40 under 40 members were given the opportunity to nominate an individual or individuals that have acted as a mentor or inspiration during their career in the aviation industry. The response was overwhelming, allowing us to compile the second Airline Economics Mentors group for 2021.

Congratulations to all members of the Airline Economics 40 under 40 group for 2021. The Airline Economics team looks forward to celebrating with them all later this year.

Airline Economics 40 under 40 2021
Riva Amar Portfolio & Investment Analysis World Star Aviation


MD, Americas and Leasing Customer Finance Boeing Capital Corporation
Andrew Broderick MD Indigo Partners
Gerard Browne VP Engine Trading GECAS
Matt Crawford EVP Capital Markets SKY Leasing
Kaiori Creed Airline Sales and Marketing, EMEA Goshawk
Niamh Danaher VP Marketing JSA
Benoist de Vimal Executive Director of Aviation Finance – Americas Natixis
Jeanette Delehanty Head of Transaction Management, Aviation Castlelake
Mark Ditto Partner Vedder Price
Jonathan Dufeu Global Balthazar Finance Leader & Deputy Head of Political Risks, Structured Credit & Surety Marsh SAS
Marie-Aude Gagnon Rousseau Senior Director, Fleet Transactions Air Canada
Ardy Ghanbar CFO Castlelake
Ahsan Gulabkhan Legal Director Virgin Atlantic Airways
Nick Harding Legal Director Clyde & Co
Marie Louise Heavey VP, Legal AerCap
Nicholas Hendy Director EMEA Aviation Citi
Ursula Hurley Acting CFO JetBlue
Ali Jahanshahi Vice President, Marketing Rolls-Royce Partners Finance
Stefanie Jung SVP Sales Europe Beautech Power Systems
Matvey Koloturskiy Deputy CEO- Director of Economics Ural Airlines
Manuela Krach Special Counsel K&L Gates
Nuno Leal Senior Advisor at World Star Aviation ex TAP
Michael Leonard Director, Aviation Banking Citi
Sylvia Li VP Aircraft Sales BOC Aviation
Gemma Loder Senior Vice President and Head of Capital Markets Jackson Square Aviation
Lisa Lyons Vice President Trading DAE Capital
Louise McNamee Legal Counsel Goshawk
Ciara Mitchell AVP Technical FPG Amentum
Meghan Montana Treasurer American Airlines
Michael Mooney CEO ACIA Leasing
Tetyana Orlova Director Aircraft Leasing and Trading Lufthansa Airlines
Ricardo Ramos Executive Vice President – Investments Aero Capital Solutions
Edward Rhind Associate Maples Group
Shairon Sexton VP Commercial GECAS
Daniel Verwholt Treasurer Air Lease Corporation
Praveen Vetrivel CFO LCI
Virginia Walker Vice President of Transaction Negotiation CDB Aviation
Andrea Wilson Vice President of Insurance BOC Aviation
Yan (Joey) Zhao Head of Commercial Bocomm Aviation Leasing Ireland



Airline Economics Mentors 2021
Bob Agnew Founder mba
Jason Barany Chief Executive Officer ACS
Lee Beaumont CEO and Founder BeauTech
Mary Bradford Former SVP, GECAS Legal GECAS
Evan Carruthers Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer Castlelake
Alexander Feuersänger VP & COO of Segment, Aircraft Maintenance Services Lufthansa Technik
Bill Franke Founder Indigo Partners
Emily Gallagher Head of Technical Transactions, EMEA Avolon
Cameron Gee Partner Vedder Price
John Govan Head of Leasing EMEA AerCap
Richard Hammond Global head of customer finance Boeing Capital Corp
Robin Hayes CEO JetBlue
Thomas Hollahan ex-Head of Aviation (retired) ex-Citi
Bobby Janagan Managing Director Rolls-Royce Partners Finance
Jaspal Jandu CEO LCI
Denise Mangan-Fahy Senior Vice President Portfolio & Rental Operations GECAS
Robert Martin Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer BOC Aviation
Kevin McDonald CEO Jackson Square Aviation
Daniel McGrath Head of EMEA, Marketing Jackson Square Aviation
Jonathon Meloy Partner, Co-head of Asset Finance, Cayman Islands Maples Group
Jennifer Moulton Global Head of Sales DAE
Munawar Noorani Co-Head of Global Aviation Citi
Kieran O’Brian Partner KPMG Ireland
Anthony Philp Finance Partner, Cayman Islands Maples Group
Luc Piché Vice President Fleet Transactions Air Canada
John Plueger CEO and President Air Lease Corporation
Neil Poland Partner Vedder Price
Gerry Power Head of Commercial Origination – Aviation Services Seraph Aviation Group
Catherine Quinlan Principal CQAI Consulting
Sidanth Rajagopal Partner K&L Gates
Stephanie Sanford Senior VP, Aircraft Trading ICBC International
Serge Sergiou Partner Dentons
Joseph Shanahan Co-Head of Global Aviation Citi
Sergey Skuratov CEO and Owner Ural Airlines
Garreth Slevin Partner World Star Aviation
Steven Udvar-Hazy Executive Chairman Air Lease Corporation
Trey Urbahn Founder, Executive Committee and Board Member Breeze Airways
Tom Weir retired Vice President, Treasurer American Airlines
Richard Wiley Executive Chairman SKY Leasing
John Willingham Chief Executive Officer Macquarie AirFinance
Greg Wills CFO Air Lease Corporation
Junxian Zhu Head of Credit Management Bank of Communications Group

Past Issues

Issue 56

Issue 50

Issue 44

Issue 38

Awards dinner 2019

2019 Growth Frontiers New York