Tuesday 24 October 2017

Donal Boylan


DONAL Boylan takes our call from the 100-and-something floor of a Hong Kong skyscraper. "The reception is bad -- I'll call you back." He does, eventually.

Between running a jet -leasing giant, his own VIP plane business and a fledgling oil exploration company, all across a few timezones, he's rather busy. Another Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) alumnus done good -- after it went under he moved to GECAS, which had bought most of the GPA business.

He then set up Dartry Aviation in 1998, which specialised in buying old plane stock with out-of-date systems, converting and reselling them for a massive mark-up.

Along with Avalon's Domhnal Slattery, Boylan was a co-founder of the small firm that became RBS Aviation Capital in 2001. From its IFSC base it built a $20bn portfolio over three years.

Since April last he has headed up the Chinese lessor Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC), where he had been COO since 2009. His appointment coincided with several senior management exits and a general shake-up and refocus. It has circa $3.75bn under lease.

He is also an executive director of Niche Group plc, the football talent agency turned oil and mineral explorer with big ambitions in Turkey and Mozambique, and he co-owns Dublin-based Odyssey Aviation, which sells and leases to the wealthy private and business jet markets, particularly in China.

Now RBS Aviation is being sold off by its nationalised parent, and Boylan's HKAC is looking at buying at least part of it, "on a consortium basis, teaming up with an Ireland-based lessor of our size and another Chinese one", he says.

He is married to Mary, they have three children and a home in Ennis, Co Clare. He owns several thoroughbred horses.

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