Media centre

All Group media enquiries should be directed to
Vanessa Maydon, Corporate Affairs Director.

Cinven Partners LLP
Warwick Court
Paternoster Square
London EC4M 7AG

Tel: +44 (0)20 7661 3325
Mob: +44 (0)7802 961 902
Email: Vanessa Maydon

Press releases

13 August 2010

Avolon appoints Michael Lillis as Chairman of its Latin American Advisory Board

Leasing veteran previously financed US$6 billion of aircraft in the region

Avolon, the aircraft leasing group, today announces the appointment of Mr Michael Lillis as Chairman of Avolon’s Latin American Advisory Board to help develop its Latin American business. Mr Lillis is a former Irish diplomat and former head of GECAS’ Latin America and Caribbean business.

Michael will support the development of Avolon’s Latin American business together with Paul Geaney, Avolon’s Head of Marketing for the Americas.

About Michael Lillis
Michael Lillis is an aircraft leasing veteran having served as head of GECAS’ Latin American and Caribbean business from 1990 to 2006. Prior to its acquisition by GE, he also served in the same role for Irish aircraft lessor, GPA. During his career in Latin America, Michael financed over 180 aircraft (valued at in excess of US$6 billion), a number unmatched by any other aircraft lessor in the Latin American region during that period. Michael has worked with, and financed aircraft for, every major airline in Latin America including Avianca, Aeroméxico, Gol, LAN and TAM.

Prior to his aircraft leasing career, Michael served the Irish Government in various roles advising on foreign policy and international relations. He served in the Irish Embassy in the United States and subsequently in the European Commission in Brussels. During his period at the Commission,he negotiated trade agreements for the EU with the Andean Pact (which includes Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) and Argentina. He was also a lead negotiator for Ireland on the Anglo-Irish agreement on Northern Ireland in 1985 and was subsequently appointed as the youngest Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva where he conducted global trade negotiations.

Michael is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and is co-author, with Ronan Fanning, of ‘Scandal and Courage: The Lives of Eliza Lynch’, an account of the War of the Triple Alliance in South America between 1864 and 1870. The book is dedicated to the memory of Comandante Rolim Amaro, the visionary leader of Latin American aviation and founder of TAM, the largest airline in the Latin American region.

Headquartered in Ireland, with offices in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Avolon provides aircraft leasing and lease management services. Avolon launched in May, 2010 having successfully completed an initial capital raise from three of the world’s leading private equity firms Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Oak Hill Capital Partners.

Avolon’s objective is to become a leading player in the global aircraft leasing sector. The Avolon management team has a proven track record in aircraft leasing and has an extensive network of established senior industry relationships across the airline, manufacturer and aviation banking sectors. In particular, the team has significant experience in delivering innovative sale and leaseback and financing transactions to the world’s airlines.

Avolon has executed contracts and letters of intent for the purchase of 45 aircraft comprising Airbus A320s, Boeing 737NGs and Airbus A330s. Some of these aircraft are already placed with Latin American airlines.

John Higgins, Avolon President and CCO, added:

 “We are very pleased to welcome Michael to the Avolon team. Latin America represents a key market for Avolon and Michael’s experience and relationships are unmatched within the region.”

“We expect to commit significant capital to the development of our Latin American business over the next 2 to 3 years and it forms a core part of our growth strategy. Working alongside Paul Geaney, Michael will be instrumental in the development of our Latin American portfolio.”

Michael Lillis added:

“I am delighted to join the Avolon team and excited to have the opportunity to continue to work across the entire Latin American region. The region is among the most attractive growth markets in the world and the opportunities for a well-capitalised and experienced aircraft leasing team are significant.”

Portfolio company videos

 Clinical Trials


Clinical Trials

 Travel services provider

Hotelbeds Group

Travel services provider

 Truck component manufacturer


Truck component manufacturer

 Footwear and accessories retailer

Kurt Geiger

Footwear and accessories retailer

 Contract research organisation


Contract research organisation

 Electronic security and alarm systems


Electronic security and alarm systems

 Property valuation and advisory services


Property valuation and advisory services

 Ufinet is a neutral telecom operator.


Ufinet is a neutral telecom operator.

 Business services software


Business services software

Media contacts


Vanessa Maydon
Corporate Affairs Director
Tel : +44 (0)20 7661 3325
Mob : +44 (0)7802 961 902
Email : Vanessa Maydon

Clare Bradshaw
Communications Manager
Tel : +44 (0)20 7667 3248
Mob : +44 (0)7881 918 967
Email : Clare Bradshaw

UK - FTI Consulting

Edward Bridges
Tel : +44 (0)20 7269 7147
Mob : +44 (0)7768 216 607
Email : Edward Bridges

Stephanie Ellis
Tel : +44 (0)20 3727 1173
Mob : +44 (0)7890 543 056
Email : Stephanie Ellis

France โ€“ FTI Consulting

Guillaume Granier
Tel : +33 (0)1 47 03 68 61
Mob : +33 (0)6 32 65 79 28
Email : Guillaume Granier

Caroline Guilhaume
Tel : +33 (0)1 47 03 68 17
Mob : +33 (0)6 38 91 88 51
Email : Caroline Guilhaume

Germany - FTI Consulting

Lutz Golsch
Tel : +49 (0)69 920 37 110
Mob : +49 (0)173 651 7710
Email : Lutz Golsch

Daniel Herbert
Tel : +49 (0)69 920 37 183
Mob : +49 (0)151 122 63834
Email : Daniel Herbert

US - Joele Frank

Jonathan Keehner
Tel : +1 212.355.4449
Mob : +1 917 589 2073
Email : Jonathan Keehner

Julie Oakes
Tel : +1 212.355.4449
Mob : +1 917 574 7263
Email : Julie Oakes

Spain โ€“ Groupo Albion

Alejandra Moore Mayorga
Tel : +34 91 531 23 88
Email : Alejandra Moore Mayorga

Sofia Garcia
Tel : +34 91 531 23 88

Italy โ€“ Community Group

Roberto Patriarca
Tel : +39 02 89 40 42 31
Mob : +39 335 65 09 568
Email : Roberto Patriarca

Marco Pedrazzini
Tel : +39 02 89 83 66 21
Mob : +39 347 0369 222
Email : Marco Pedrazzini