Mike Bianco

A group of 40 talented individuals shine a light on the future for the aviation finance and leasing industry during a period of unprecedent stress.

Airline Economics, the flagship publication dedicated to the commercial aviation finance and leasing industry owned by Aviation News Ltd, has announced the 2020 40 under 40 group.

“This has been period of unprecedented challenges for the aviation finance and leasing community but considering the wealth of young talent demonstrated by the record number of nominees to the Airline Economics 40 under 40 group, this industry – famed for its innovation and triumph under stress – is in safe hands,” says Victoria Tozer-Pennington, editor and co-founder of Airline Economics.

All of the individuals named to the top 40 under 40 group for 2020 have been nominated by their peers, colleagues and clients in recognition of their skills, achievements and dedication to the industry.

Although the 40 under 40 group is not ranked, Airline Economics does present its Future Leader award to the individual with the most and most impressive nominations from clients. This year’s recipient is John McInerney, the managing director of Phoenix American Financial Services’ aviation ABS managing agent operations based in Shannon, Ireland. John has been singled out for recognition with a record number nominations from peers, clients and industry grandees, who all highlighted his professionalism, remarkable leadership qualities and “can do” attitude. John has been applauded by clients and colleagues even more recently during the pandemic crisis for remaining calm under pressure and showing even greater leadership abilities.

In 2020, the Highly Commended designation was also awarded to three individuals to recognise the calibre of their supporting nominations. These are: Kevin VanDenBerg, Vice President – Asset Management at Aero Capital Solutions; Mike Bianco, Chief Executive Officer of AvAir; and Mike Draz, Shareholder, Global Transportation Finance, Vedder Price.

Given the extraordinary circumstances, this year we asked all the successful individuals to comment on the current crisis and their hopes for the future. All were confident in the ingenuity of the people working in the industry and that travel would resume. And almost all expressed their hopes that the industry would continue on its drive to become more sustainable.

“The comments from this year’s group were extremely heartening during a bleak time for the industry, with many expressing their complete confidence that the industry will rebound and come back stronger than ever, albeit with the desire that lessons should be learned from this crisis to rebuild a more sustainable and resilient industry that looks to the longer-term future,” says Victoria.

For the first time this year, 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 first Airline Economics Mentors group for 2020. “We have often been requested light-heartedly to compile and 60 over 60 list,” adds Victoria. “Tthis year, our list of mentors does recognise those veterans of the industry who have given back by promoting and assisting the next generation of executives to take aviation into the next decade and beyond.”

Congratulations to all members of the Airline Economics 40 under 40 group for 2020. The Airline Economics team looks forward to celebrating with them all when the recovery is well under way.

Full Airline Economics article link: https://www.aviationnews-online.com/airline-economics-40-under-40/