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Half of the world's aviation fleet now managed from Ireland

SMBC Aviation Capital officially launched today following €5.6bn acquisition by Japanese bank.

Barry O'Leary, CEO of the IDA
Barry O'Leary, CEO of the IDA
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

HALF OF THE world’s aviation fleet is now managed from Ireland, according to the IDA, with 1,000 people directly employed in the aviation leasing industry in the country.

Speaking at the launch of SMBC Aviation Capital in Dublin, the CEO of IDA Ireland said that Ireland was now a pre-eminent location for aircraft leasing, with 50 per cent of the world’s commercial aircraft fleet now managed from Ireland.

‘Ireland’s reputation as a global leader in the aircraft leasing sector has been heightened today as a result of this launch” said Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland.

SMBC is the world’s fourth largest aircraft leasing firm. Formerly the aviation leasing and finance arm of RBS Aviation capital, it was bought by the Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Finance for €5.6bn earlier this year. It has a portfolio of 240 aircraft valued at $8bn, which it leases to over 100 airlines worldwide. Among its customers are American Airlines, Ryanair and Qantas.

Nine of the world 10 largest aircraft leasing companies are located in Ireland, with over 30 similar companies in operation in the country.

The Irish leasing industry traces its routes back to 1975, when Guinness Peat Aviation was founded in Shannon, Co Clare. Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate plus a favourable number of other tax allowances such as zero per cent VAT on international aircraft leasing has allowed Ireland to copper fasten its position in the industry, say experts.

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According to a survey conduced by the Federation of Aerospace Enterprises in Ireland, aviation leasing companies in the country now manage assets worth €82.9bn.

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