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- Non-profit Society brings together airlines needing financing with those who want to invest.
- Orlando event sets another attendance record - 1,400 - as aircraft financing industry blooms to support more than $100 billion in global product deliveries.
- Members find value in meeting debates that work to advance industry interests as a whole.
ORLANDO, Fla., March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With worldwide commercial aircraft production expected to head beyond a record U.S. $100 billion-plus in 2013, the need to connect global airlines awaiting deliveries with investors willing to finance them has never been stronger.
This significant opportunity for the global industry involved in buying, selling and financing commercial aircraft serves as the backdrop for ISTAT Americas 2013, the annual general meeting of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) that opened today here today.
As was the case with previous ISTAT annual meetings, year over year attendance continues to grow as the non-profit industry association responds to the opportunities being created for those involved in operating, manufacturing, maintaining, selling, purchasing, financing, leasing, appraising, insuring or other activities related to the commercial aviation sector.
Opening day registrations for ISTAT Americans 2013 reached 1,400, yet another record for general meeting attendance for the Chicago-based society that serves a current global membership of more than 2,600.
Production ramps ups by Boeing and Airbus expect to see them deliver the lion's share of an estimated $104 billion in jetliners this year. Meanwhile some in the industry are vocal that higher production rates are unjustified, with the aviation market headed for a "bubble."
Supply and demand, and whether government-supported airliner export financing is contributing to overproduction concerns, are expected to be hotly debated topics at ISTAT's two days of panel discussions and presentations featuring C-suite speakers from across the aircraft spectrum.
ISTAT's "Who's Who" list of presenters scheduled this year include John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer-Customers, Airbus; Randy Tinseth, V.P., Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, senior executives from regional jet builders, Bombardier, and Embraer; Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of engine builder CFM International; Robert Morin, V.P. Transportation Div., U.S. Export-Import Bank, aircraft leasing CEOs Steven F. Udvar-Hazy of Air Lease Corp. and Ray Sisson of AWAS, and V.P. Michael Kriedberg of GECAS; and Patrick Kaufer, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank, a major aircraft financing bank among others.
"ISTAT crosses so many levels of aviation – airlines, financiers, manufacturers, lessors, investors, appraisers – and often at the highest levels of those organizations," said Joseph Ozimek, ISTAT president and vice president for 737 MAX marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our annual meeting is the preeminent event of its type."
The annual Americas meeting – and other regional ISTAT sessions in Europe and Asia – often see intense discussions play out in its public sessions and side meetings as members debate over the range of current industry issues.
"The annual meeting is a prime example of ISTAT's member value. People look to it as a neutral forum to get together to discuss industry issues as well as business opportunities," said Doug Runte, managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities and an ISTAT board member and conference co-chair. "We may have our own agendas and goals, which sometimes compete with each others, but everyone here has an interest in advancing commercial aviation, and we come together to discuss broader opportunities and advance the industry."
ISTAT's annual meeting is also the occasion for presentation of the ISTAT Award, the Society's highest honor for lifetime achievement in commercial aviation and one of the industry's most prestigious peer recognitions. 2013's winner is retired airline executive, Gordon Bethune, who as CEO at Continental led the carrier's legendary "from worst to first" customer service comeback in the mid 1990s. Bethune becomes the 12th winner since the ISTAT Award was established in 2001.
The Society, through its ISTAT Foundation, also extends its non-profit outreach to benefit the next generation of aviation industry professionals through its scholarship program. ISTAT member contributions from meeting events and other activities have delivered nearly $200 thousand into the hands of worthy students.
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