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The Impact Aircraft ABS is Having on the NQ Market in Ireland

The Impact Aircraft ABS is Having on the NQ Market in Ireland

The Impact Aircraft ABS is Having on the NQ Market in Ireland

The aviation sector has been through some “turbulent” times due to recent external market conditions, but the feeling of uncertainty is fading, with optimism and positivity returning to the sector again. Ireland has positioned itself very well within aviation and aircraft leasing, both domestically and internationally, with more new entrants to the market, significant business combinations and extensive hiring across the market. In particular, there has been an increase in demand within the aircraft leasing sector for professionals of varying backgrounds and experience at the newly qualified (NQ) level, a result of the growth in aircraft asset-backed securitization (ABS). Consultant Christine Jones outlines why aircraft ABS is impacting the NQ market in Ireland and what professionals can do if they are interested in transitioning into aircraft leasing.

Dating back to the 1970s, Ireland became a global leader in the aircraft leasing industry when the late Tony Ryan founded Guinness Peat Aviation (more commonly known as GPA), the country’s first aircraft leasing company and one of the first aircraft leasing companies established worldwide. As the industry grew on a global scale, Ireland continued to stand out against competitors Singapore, Hong Kong, China and New York due to its deep pool of talent and surrounding infrastructure. The concentration of talent and expertise in the Irish market within aircraft lessors, managing agents and corporate service providers, added to the tax benefits Ireland has to offer, has made Ireland an attractive jurisdiction to run aviation finance. Additionally, the growth of aircraft ABS has been a contributing factor.

ABS involves the creation of bankruptcy-remote companies called special purpose vehicles (SPVs). These SPVs have expanded to become more innovative and to include portfolios of new, mid-life and older passenger and cargo aircrafts. This is a structure which has proven to be reliable and more transparent with favourable interest rates and resistance, seeing approximately $3.7bn raised in the first 6-months of 2021, even during a global pandemic. This has created more confidence in the product and attracted new investors into the aviation space.

With the strong performance of aircraft ABS in 2021 alone, and success expected to continue throughout 2021 and into 2022, companies specialising in these products require more resources across their teams. Therefore, we are seeing a significant demand for financial accountants in the Irish market, especially for NQ accountants, with aircraft lessors, management agents, and corporate services providers all in search of qualified accountants with direct experience to join their growing teams. Despite this, there is a lack of available talent at the NQ level in Ireland (see our recent article The Talent Shortage at NQ Level – What’s Happening in the Market?). As the demand for qualified accountants continues to grow but supply remains low, individuals are being quickly swiped off the market. This has resulted in employers being more open-minded to individuals from different backgrounds with transferable skills.

Corporate service providers offer individuals a steppingstone from practice to industry, particularly into different sectors across financial services industry including aircraft leasing. This is a career shaping move and one we would recommend especially to individuals who may not have direct experience. At Coopman Search and Selection, we specialise in the recruitment of NQ accountants within the financial services industry. With extensive market knowledge and a thorough understanding our clients’ needs, we are here to provide advice and assistance to individuals looking to make a move out of practice.

Should you be open to new opportunities, please feel free to reach out to Consultant Christine Jones at for a confidential conversation.q

William McCoppin


William has experience across multiple markets, specialising in compliance and financial crime at the interim, mid-to-senior and executive level.