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UCD Smurfit School introduces Europe's first Masters in Aviation Finance

  • Date: Tue, Apr 12, 2016

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L-R: Willie Walsh (CEO, IAG), Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh (Dean, UCD Business) and Norm Liu (Chairman, GECAS)


IAG’s Willie Walsh launches programme among Irish global leaders in aviation

Tuesday, 12th April 2016: UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has launched Europe’s first Masters in Aviation Finance to support the development of the next generation of aviation lessor management talent to ensure Ireland remains a global leader in the sector. The course was launched at UCD Smurfit School by Willie Walsh of IAG in the presence of other global leaders in aviation.

Ireland has carved out a leadership position in aviation finance and today 50% of the world’s leased aircraft are owned and managed from Ireland with over 1,000 people directly employed. The industry contributes €4.1 billion to the economy comprising €1.9 billion directly from aviation, €1.3 billion through the supply chain, and a further €900 million from associated spending by people employed in the sector. With the sector expected to double in scale in the next twenty years, UCD Smurfit School’s decision to introduce a Masters in Aviation Finance will enable Ireland to support the further development of this important industry for the Irish economy and assert its position as a global hub for the sector.

The one year full-time course commencing in September 2016 has been developed in association with six industry partners: AERCAP, AVOLON, GE Capital Aviation Services, KPMG, Snecma (Safran) and SMBC Aviation Capital. This close industry involvement will facilitate student internships, access to scholarships and insights from key industry guest speakers, in addition to identifying and collaborating on key research projects.
Speaking at the launch and welcoming Willie Walsh to UCD Smurfit School, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dean of UCD Business said: “The Irish Aviation Sector is one of Ireland’s outstanding success stories and plays a significant role in the Irish economy. For a country of this scale it has created a disproportionate number of leaders and pioneers in the sector who have and continue to shape one of the biggest and most dynamic industries in the world. At UCD Smurfit School our primary purpose is to re-imagine business better together and develop graduates who will have a profound impact on industry and society. My conversations with aviation industry leaders have reinforced the value of the MSc in Aviation Finance as a means to provide the talent the industry will need to sustain and expand long-term growth.”

Welcoming the introduction of Europe’s first MSc in Aviation Finance by UCD Smurfit School, Willie Walsh, Group Chief Executive of IAG commented: “For this industry to thrive it needs a constant pipeline of talent with the necessary skills and expertise to help shape the future of the aviation industry. I commend UCD Smurfit School for developing this course in partnership with leading aviation players. This will ensure that graduates will have the combination of academic rigour married with relevant experience through the practical research and internship programmes which are a key part of the course. UCD Smurfit School’s introduction of Europe’s first Masters in Aviation Finance ensures that Ireland can continue to forge its leadership position with the necessary talent produced by one of Europe’s top business schools.”

Speaking about the course benefits, Patrick Blaney, course leader of the MSc in Aviation Finance: “The success of any Masters programme is driven by its intellectual content and the career opportunities it creates. UCD Smurfit School’s MSc in Aviation Finance is suitable for graduates from a wide variety of disciplines including business, economics, finance, engineering and science who want to pursue a career in the highly dynamic sector of Aviation Finance & Leasing. We have had significant interest in the programme from overseas graduates, in particular from Hong Kong, Singapore and China, who recognise the unique opportunity to gain specialist knowledge of the principles of Aircraft and Corporate Finance activities direct from Industry Leaders. ”



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