The event, attended by key industry figures and experts, provided a platform for insightful discussions, updates, and forecasts shaping the future of the ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) industry.
Phil Mathews, ACC Aviation CEO, opened the conference, welcoming esteemed delegates and highlighting the event’s unique nature in gathering a diverse group of industry leaders. “This is a unique event, that gets together a unique group of people, focused on the ACMI industry. We try to bring a mix of both insight and market news while, importantly, providing a networking opportunity for a very fast-developing and fast-growing part of the industry, which makes this event ever more relevant,” remarked Mathews.
The conference featured pivotal presentations and panel discussions, commencing with an insightful aviation market update by Tony Griffin, Senior Vice President at ASM. Griffin’s analysis delved into the global aviation landscape, discussing new routes, traffic loads, and the growth of fleets. He also examined potential impacts on the airline industry, including jet fuel prices, pilot shortages, inflationary pressures, and geopolitical issues, providing forecasts for the upcoming year.
Dave Williams, Director of Leasing at ACC Aviation, celebrated his 20th year with the company by presenting an ACMI leasing update. Williams, a prominent figure in ACMI leasing, detailed the sector’s return to normalcy in 2023 post-COVID-19. He highlighted the increase in block hour bookings, challenges faced in the ACMI sector, supplier growth, market dynamics in different aircraft segments, and insights into short-term and long-term ACMI leasing.
Rob Watts, Director of Consulting at ACC Aviation, moderated an insightful aviation finance panel. The panel, comprising industry experts Sylvain Gloux, Senior Director Origination at NORD/LB, Stewart Tanner, Senior Managing Director at Volofin Capital Management, and Basil Gygax, Head of Customer Finance, EMEA, at Embraer, discussed the impact of interest rates on deals, changes in financing structures, risk assessments by lenders, and initiatives in environmental, social, and governance aspects affecting ACMI finance.
Andreas Pericleous, Vice President Business Development at ACC Aviation, led the aviation legal panel. Panellists Josh Romanow and Matthew R. Rabinowitz, both Partners at Pillsbury Law, and Will Alete, Solicitor at Norton Rose Fulbright, explored critical legal aspects of ACMI, including U.S. licensing and traffic rights, global sanctions, the implications of recent conflicts, Brexit’s lasting effects, aircraft delivery delays, and passenger delay compensation regulations under EU261.
James Bircumshaw, Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships, EMEA, at Skyports Infrastructure, presented a visionary outlook on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Skyports. Bircumshaw discussed the burgeoning interest in AAM and the challenges surrounding regulation, standardization, public acceptance, and ecosystem integration.
The conference concluded with the Aircraft Trading and Leasing Panel moderated by Zeineb Lassoued, VP Regional MEA at ACC Aviation. Panellists Same Rice, Vice President Sales, EMEA, Aero Capital Solutions, Oliver Ford, Vice President Origination at Deucalion Aviation, and Ben Jacques, Marketing Director at WNG Capital LLC, examined aircraft remarketing, geopolitical risks, market challenges affecting lease rates, the impact of global conflicts and COVID-19, and strategies to promote sustainable aircraft in the ACMI industry.
The 16th ACC Airline Conference proved to be an invaluable platform for industry players to gather, exchange ideas, and address pressing challenges while envisioning the future of the aviation industry. “The ACMI market is strong and demand is high going into 2024. This was reflected by our best-attended ACC Airline Conference to date,” commented Williams. “With such a dynamic and ever-changing market in ACMI, the ACC Conference is a great opportunity to reflect on the year gone by whilst looking ahead to 2024, engaging with airlines, lessors, aviation finance and legal experts. We look forward to hosting everyone for the next ACC Airline Conference in 2024,” he concluded.
For more information about ACC Aviation and future events, visit www.accaviation.com.