GE Aviation, a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines and avionics, and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the aircraft leasing and financing unit of GE, jointly organized and hosted the conference entitled “Shaping the Future of Aviation in Africa.” It was the first event of its kind in the region.
“We created an opportunity for GE to pull together the leaders in the African airline industry to discuss growth opportunities and shared challenges,” said Jonty Nel, GECAS senior vice president and region manager for Africa.
Sixty-seven executives representing GE and airlines, including senior leaders from Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, and others, attended the invitation-only event.
The group discussed subjects ranging from the current economic environment for airlines and financing opportunities to upcoming technical innovations and trends in maintenance operations. Several airline executives participated in panel discussions and shared best practices with the group. One of those attendees was Dr. Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, CEO, Arik Airlines.
“The thing we hear all the time when we talk about Arik is ‘brand new, latest technology, forward looking, ’” said Dr. Arumemi-Ikhide. “That is why we like the partnership with GECAS and GE Aviation. They focus exactly on that: robust technology for the future. This is what we feel is important to the West and Central African market.”
GE forecasts good growth rates in Africa as global economic conditions improve, the airline industry begins to deregulate in Africa, and more of the continent’s population of 1 billion chooses to travel by air. In addition, GE estimates approximately 25 percent of the Western-built narrow body aircraft currently operating in Africa will be retired in the near term.
Currently, GECAS has US$2 billion committed with airlines in 13 different African countries. It finances 76 aircraft, representing approximately six percent of the total fleet in Africa.
“Conferences like this enable our customers and GE to share ideas and thoughts that can help shape the future of the aviation industry in Africa,” said Tom Gentile, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation’s Services organization.
“I think it is a very good initiative by GE as we are really discussing very important issues of the sector in the content,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airways. “It is also important for GE Aviation and GECAS to understand what their customers say about their services and their strategy and their focus on the continent.”
About GE Aviation
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. Follow GE Aviation on Twitter at twitter.com/GEAviation and YouTube at youtube.com/user/GEAviation.
About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)
GECAS, the U.S. and Irish commercial aircraft financing and leasing business of GE, has a fleet of over 1,800 owned and managed aircraft with approximately 245 airlines in over 75 countries. GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types and financing options, including operating leases and secured debt financing, and also provides productivity solutions including spare engine leasing, spare parts financing and management. GECAS, a unit of GE Capital, has offices in 25 cities around the world.
GE (ge.com) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. GE is Imagination at Work.
Please sign up to follow us on Facebook (GE Capital Aviation Services) and on Twitter (GECASNews).
Dan Whitney, GE Capital Aviation Services
P: 203 585 2268 / M: 203 300 8707 / E: dan.whitney[.]ge.com.