Nine Irish directors tap €8.7m pay pot at aircraft firm

The 14 directors of the Irish arm of the world’s largest aircraft leasing firm last year shared a pay pot of $9.7m (€8.7m).

Nine Irish directors tap €8.7m pay pot at aircraft firm

New figures lodged by the firm with the Companies Office for GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) — based at Shannon — show pre-tax profits last year reduced by 66% from $48.4m to $16.4m.

The drop in pre-tax profits came as revenues decreased by 9% from $254.8m to $232.4m in the 12 months to the end of 2015.

The accounts show nine of the high-flying directors are Irish with an average pay of $693,335 each.

The $9.7m payout includes $5.6m in bonuses, $3.4m in salaries, $479,000 in pension payments, as well as $157,000 in benefits in kind.

During the year, GE Capital Aviation Services placed an order for 60 Airbus A320 aircraft 737s in a total order price of almost $6.4bn.

A subsidiary of US giant, General Electric, GECAS is one of a cluster of companies in the Shannon Free Zone engaged in aircraft leasing. Its rivals include Shannon Engine Support and AerCap.

The numbers employed by the firm, including executive directors, rose from 252 to 274. Employment costs increased from $52.8m to $57.7m.

According to the directors’ report, the return on assets was 6% compared with 19.3% in 2014, with “the decrease in the current year (being) driven by a reduction in the management service fees received.”

GECAS — which has a fleet of over 2,200 owned and managed aircraft with approximately 270 customers in 75 countries — offers a wide range of aircraft types and financing options, including operating leases and secured debt financing.

It also provides productivity solutions including spare engine leasing, spare parts financing and management.

At year-end, the firm had accumulated profits of $67.87m with shareholder funds totalling $2.92bn. The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of $3.6m.

All the company’s income derives from activities in Ireland. The company has been in Shannon since 1993.

Nine of the world’s top 10 aircraft leasing firms are Ireland based. They employ 1,000 directly and 2,000 indirectly. Currently, there are 4,000 aircraft valued at €115bn leased out of Ireland.

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