Sunday 25 February 2018

Top aircraft leasing firm warns against Irish complacency

Aengus Kelly, chief executive officer of AerCap. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg
Aengus Kelly, chief executive officer of AerCap. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The chairman of the world's biggest aircraft lessor has warned that Ireland must not be complacent about maintaining its status as the global hub for the industry.

Norm Liu, chairman of GE Capital Aviation Services, told a Sunday Independent roundtable discussion with leading industry players that Hong Kong is trying very hard to take a bigger share of the business.

"Don't be complacent because there is a lot of competition. They are trying. Hong Kong is trying." he said, adding he thought Ireland's method of success may not work in the next couple of decades.

"You've got to find some twist or angle to get it to the next level... I think for attracting global talent, lack of international schools is difficult. A deep housing base for expats, that's another issue... we relocated some people from Stateside, and it's just hard to get people over effectively."

Avolon chief financial officer Andy Cronin said his company had found personal tax rates the biggest difficulty in attracting international talent here.

"People can work anywhere in the world, the personal tax rate in Hong Kong or Singapore is very different."

Aercap chief executive Aengus Kelly said the country needs to attract international corporate decision makers.

"You need a baccalaureat system... no one knows what the Leaving Cert is and no-one cares," he said. "When someone has children they want to know their children can seamlessly move from one education system to another".

Over 1,200 people are employed in the industry here according to the IDA.

Sunday Indo Business

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