Annual Elections

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  • Nigel Addison Smith – photo elections 2019

    Nigel Addison-Smith

    Nigel is a Director of PA Nyras, the London based aviation consultancy and advisory firm where he has worked for five years. He is Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to advise aviation clients on M&A transactions.

    Nigel’s aviation background started when he was appointed CFO of First Choice Airways in 1996 where he served for six years before moving to be CFO of ebookers PLC. Nigel then further expanded his aviation career by becoming the CFO of UK Export Finance (then known as ECGD) where he was involved at Credit Committee in approving over 600 financing arrangements for Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier aircraft. UKEF had a portfolio of 1,100 aircraft. Nigel was CFO at UKEF through the global financial crisis when financing support by the UK was critical for Airbus and when ASU 2011 was established. He was also a Non-Executive of UK Trade & Investment.

    Since joining PA Nyras he has worked for a wide variety of aviation clients both in the UK and other markets. Known clients include Dubai Airports, BA, Aer Lingus, CityJet, SriLankan Airlines, Finnair, easyJet, CityJet, Stobart and Flybe. Nigel primarily assists airlines in making profit improvements in support of their strategic financial targets. He often advises airlines on fleet related opportunities.

    Nigel is an economist by background so has a profound understanding of the development of the industry both in the UK and internationally. He advises airlines and airports on these industry opportunities.

    He supports the development of the industry and fundamentally believes that until gender inequality is removed at senior management level and amongst pilots, engineers and other key roles that the industry will not stabilise and develop to its full potential. He also recognises that the industry has a profound responsibility in relation to climate change.

  • Irena Badelska photo

    Irena Badelska

    Irena is a Commercial Officer at Amedeo and a member of the advisory and structuring team in London with primary responsibility for origination, business development, structuring, debt sourcing and equity fundraising.

    Irena has worked with Amedeo’s senior management team since 2008 and has been involved in key strategic transactions including the first EETC issue for a non-US airline/leasing company since the financial crisis and the launch and development of the UK institutional investor market for aircraft investments. Irena has played a key role in shaping the strategy and business growth of Amedeo since 2014.

    Irena has structured and executed cross-border financing and leasing transactions involving major international airlines and global financial institutions providing 100% financing solutions to Amedeo’s customers and introducing a suite of financing instruments including capital markets solutions, mezzanine and commercial debt financing, and others.

    Irena joined Doric in 2008 having worked in the Corporate Finance and Investment Banking divisions of Citigroup, amongst other leading global financial institutions.

    Irena was recently acknowledged by Airline Economics as one of the ‘40 under 40’ future leaders in the aviation industry and was featured in the 2018 issue of the magazine “Aviation Life”.

    Irena has spoken at numerous aviation conferences and institutional investor events over the past decade on the topics of aircraft investments and asset management, aircraft redeployment and secondary market development, aviation finance, lessor consolidation, aircraft programme evolution, and others.

    Irena is on the Board of the non-profit organisation Advancing of Women in Aviation Roundtable (AWAR) and is a member of ISTAT, IAWA and the Aviation Club in the UK.

  • oneworld Alliance

    Michael Blunt

    Michael Blunt has been a member of the Aviation Club of the UK for most of its 28 years – and Vice-Chairman and a member of the Speakers Sub-Committee for the past three years, after being re-elected to the committee in 2016.

     He served previously as a committee member until April 2015 when he was obliged to stand down after completing two full terms.  For all but a few months of those six years, he was Chairman of the Speakers Sub-Committee, arranging speakers for almost 50 club lunches.  He also served on the sub-committee to appoint the club’s new secretariat in 2015.

    Michael has worked in the airline industry for four decades.

     He spent the first two of them at British Airways, filling various senior communications/PR roles, during its turnaround under the legendary Lords King and Marshall, during its privatization and through its heady growth period of the 1990s.

    He switched to oneworld shortly after the global airline alliance’s launch, where he is now Vice-President Corporate Affairs.

     oneworld’s members include American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines and around 30 of their affiliated carriers, with Royal Air Maroc a member elect and Fiji Airways its first ‘oneworld connect’ partner.

     Between them, these airlines account for almost a fifth of the entire global industry’s capacity and revenues, flying some 550 million passengers last year to 1,200 destinations in almost 180 countries on a combined fleet of 3,500 aircraft operating 14,500 departures daily, and generating revenues of US$ 135 billion annually.

     Michael began his working life as a journalist.  Born in India, he spent much of his early years living in South and South East Asia.  With dual UK and Irish citizenship, he is married with two grown-up children and lives in West Sussex.


  • Gwen Edwards

    Gwen Edwards

    Gwen is a senior associate in the Aviation Finance team at Hogan Lovells, having trained and practised at Linklaters prior to joining Hogan Lovells in 2012.  She has particular experience of debt financing and leasing across both the commercial aviation and corporate aircraft sectors, regularly advising banks, operating lessors, airlines and private equity firms.  She spent nine months seconded to GE Capital supporting their corporate aircraft business and regularly attends and speaks at industry conferences and events. 

    Gwen has experience of serving on committees both within Hogan Lovells, representing her colleague peer group and outside of work, as a school governor for nine years, during which she chaired the school’s finance committee for a period and latterly was vice-chair of the governing body, which roles involved budget setting and strategic oversight. 

    Gwen mentors and trains junior colleagues at Hogan Lovells and is interested in finding ways in which the extensive industry experience of the Aviation Club’s members can be shared with newer members who are starting out in the industry, in order to support them and to ensure that both the Club and the aviation industry continue to flourish and be driven by talented professionals. 

    Prior to becoming a lawyer, Gwen studied modern languages at the University of Cambridge and law at Nottingham Law School and the College of Law in London.


  • M Ginsberg – photo elections 2019

    Malcolm Ginsberg

    Malcolm Ginsberg was a founder member of the Aviation Club.  He has been nominated by two former chairmen.  

    Malcolm believes the Club committee needs a balance of young people prepared to work for the benefit of the aviation community, and such as himself, independent members with vast experience and the time to make worthwhile contributions.  

    He has unparalleled experience and knowledge of the air transport industry having been involved for over 50 years.  Now 76, but active as Editor in Chief of Business Travel News (BTN), an aviation consultant, and media contributor. If elected this will probably be his final shift.  By voting for him you will be helping to put someone onto the committee with vast experience of the industry, from GA and pilot training to dealing with the legislature at the highest levels.  BTN has always vigorously promoted the Aviation Club.  He will be an active table host.  

    Malcolm has sat on the executive board of Brymon Airways, British World and AB Airlines and acted in a PR capacity for ANA and American Airlines, introducing both to the British market.  Long gone HeavyLift Cargo Airlines was a client and for many years another cargo operator, West Atlantic, still a member of Airlines UK.  

     He gained a PPL when acting for CSE – OATS (Oxford Air Training School), also Embraer, Learjet and Piper distributors at the time and has acted for Belfast International and Luton Airports.  He was intimately involved in the start-up of LCY. He wrote the authoritative book to celebrate its 30 years.   

    For 20 years Malcolm published the Flight International Directory series.  In the 1990s he purchased the then tabloid Air and Business Travel News (ABTN), turning it into today’s influential Business Travel News as a web-based publication, also available by email every Monday morning.  

  • Michael Halaby – photo elections 2019

    Michael Halaby

    Michael is responsible for providing strategic funding advice to C-suite executives in the aviation sector on accessing the US$ and international bond, secured bank debt and regional financing markets.  Over the last 20 years, he has assisted borrowers in the US, Europe and Middle East – within and outside the aviation sector – raise over US$122 billion in debt financing via 260+ transactions. 

    Michael is presently at Deutsche Bank in London where he is responsible for originating all debt products (e.g. secured bank loans, EETCs, private placements, Schuldschein, ABS, unsecured) for airlines and aviation lessors based in EMEA.  In addition to his responsibilities of client development and maintenance, he also writes a light-hearted aviation finance update. 

    Previously Michael worked in Deutsche Bank’s aviation structured finance team responsible for originating, structuring and distributing structured secured debt financing products: senior secured loans, portfolio financing, bridge and warehouse financings, ECA financings, liquidity facilities. 

    Before joining Deutsche Bank, Michael was principal at Valais Advisory that provided issuers and investors with impartial, independent assistance in securing and understanding debt capital markets financing in the aviation sector. 

    Previous to Valais, Michael was head of financial institution and aviation debt capital markets at BNP Paribas in New York; prior to that position, he held the same role at ABN AMRO in London and New York. He started with ABN AMRO in Amsterdam in their corporate finance team. 

    Michael began his career in Paris at American Express covering key accounts after graduating university and still regrets leaving France. 

    Michael holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BSBA from the University of Denver.  He is on the ISTAT Foundation Humanitarian Committee and is a British-American-Lebanese citizen.  His interests include flying helicopters, motorcycling, skiing, and photographing aircraft.  He also designed and created an aviation-themed notebook:


  • Clive Richardson photo

    Clive Richardson

    Clive started his aviation career in 1983 with Flight International where he worked in various roles before joining Reed Exhibitions in 1993. At Reed Exhibitions Clive  joined the Asian Aerospace exhibition management team and helped build the show into a global aerospace event. From there he moved to F&E, organisers of the world-class Dubai Airshow to run the aerospace portfolio. He took on the challenge of moving and re-launching Asian Aerospace in Hong Kong for Reed Exhibitions. Clive re-joined F&E to take on the role of CEO for the entire F&E Group, running the company’s activities across all their shows.  He is now co-owner and co-founder of Access Group, a media and events consultancy company for the Aviation, Aerospace & Defence industry.  Access Group’s clients include the Aviation Week MRO global series of events, Farnborough International Airshow. Orient Aviation Media Group and Access are partners on the Aviation Africa series of events.


  • Jane Thompson – photo elections 2019

    Jane Thompson

    A member of the Aviation Club since 1998, Jane is a reputed industry expert, specialist in communications, business development and events.  She has nearly 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry – starting out as a graduate trainee with BAA in 1990, and is perhaps best known for her highly regarded independent events platform, Runways UK, which she co-created and ran alongside the Airports Commission between 2012-2015.  She is now an independent consultant working with ICF Aviation and Heathrow Southern Rail; and she sits on the board of the British Aviation Group.  

    Jane combines generous people skills and sharp intellect to help organisations understand how to improve public profile, brand image and sales strategy.  She understands the importance of networking and credits the Aviation Club for helping her develop an impressively wide network within Government and the wider aviation industry.     

    Jane has a passion for change and the drive to make things happen and having been a member of the club for over 20 years, feels the time is now right to contribute to its future prosperity through Committee membership.

  • P Tozer-Pennington – photo elections 2019

    Philip Tozer-Pennington

    Philip Tozer-Pennington is the Managing Director of Aviation News Ltd, which has been serving the commercial aviation sector for over eight years now with news services, magazines/journals, conferences and exhibitions.

    Prior to forming Aviation News Ltd., Philip was Chief Operating Officer at MTN-I, Managing Director of Aviation Industry Press, and a Sales Director at Euromoney Institutional Investor. Philip’s early career was formed in the insurance industry where he insured aviation classes (and others) at Lloyds of London and he also brokered at Jardine (JIBL) on the Asia-Pacific desk before setting up Anglo American Insurance.

    Philip has advised and participated on financial, lease and sale transactions, and has over 22 years of aviation experience. Over those two decades, Philip has formed close relationships with many airlines, lessors, banks, manufacturers and maintenance providers on a global basis and considers most as friends as well as clients. 

    “I have been a member of the club for over ten years, I have put my name forward for the Aviation Club UK Committee for the first time because I have the time on my hands to make a difference and to do the job properly,” comments Philip. “I now offer the club my services to help expand the member and supporter base globally, to attract leading speakers and to assist in getting the best deal for the club as it expands its overseas events.”

  • Rick White – photo elections 2019

    Rick White

    Rick White started his career with ILG as an Overseas Operations Manager before moving to TUI, where he became an Overseas Regional Manager based in Greece and then Tunisia.  

    Rick joined Virgin Holidays as Operations Director and helped establish their short haul airline and tour operator – Virgin Sun. He was drawn to the world of recruitment and joined Argyle Executive Recruitment as a Director supporting the aviation and travel sectors. The Headhunter was then himself Headhunted, by a senior level executive search firm called Howgate Sable to join as a Partner. Rick subsequently established Dunleavy White Global Executive Search in 2010 – a senior level executive search consultancy focused on the aviation and related sectors. Dunleavy White now has offices in London, Dubai, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Dublin and has become one of the leading boutique Headhunters for the aviation sector, managing senior level search mandates with airlines and aviation business’s globally.

    Rick is well known and well connected throughout the senior level global aviation fraternity, and is able to call upon industry leaders when their assistance is required. 

    Rick has a Master’s degree in Psychotherapy from the University of London and is a qualified Psychotherapist – a science he regularly draws upon in his role as a senior level Headhunter! He is married with one ten-year-old daughter and lives in London and on numerous planes as his wife will tell you!

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