ALI Chair addresses Airfinance Conference in Hong Kong

On 1st November 2018, ALI Chair, David Swan addressed the Airfinance Conference in Hong Kong about the merits of Ireland as a location for aircraft leasing. This was followed by a panel discussion with Vice Chair ALI, Declan Kelly, Clarence Leung and William Ho from Hong Kong Leasing and Aviation Finance Association and Barry Mok from CALC. Moderated by Dick Forsberg of Avolon, the panel discussed how Ireland and Hong Kong can exist as symbiotic hubs.

David Swan explained that Ireland has been the leading centre for aircraft leasing globally for many decades, however the need for a representative body like ALI to provide a coordinated voice for the sector was long overdue.

He emphasised this was not about Ireland versus Hong Kong but Ireland and Hong Kong. “This is a growing industry, it is a big pie with lots of opportunity which needs multiple centres to service our customers but in every industry, there is always a main hub, and that hub is Ireland. However our overriding message is that we must work together with the Irish government to remain the most attractive location for lessors.”

William Ho outlined the benefits of Hong Kong as a leading financial centre of the Asia Pacific region where a lot of aviation investors are based. He acknowledged that much had to be learnt from Ireland’s experience and given the size of the opportunity, both sides could co-exist to service the growing needs of airlines across the world.

Ireland has much to offer including its history, expertise and ecosystem, our double taxation treaty network and our education system. However, ALI will focus on four priority areas with government over the coming years.

These areas include coming together as a more coordinated voice to focus on specialised education for aviation finance and MRO, continued enhancements in our tax treaty network, our social infrastructure and our flight connectivity as an island nation.