Willis Lease Finance Adds Barrington to Board of Directors

Willis Lease Finance, a lessor of commercial aircraft engines and provider of aviation services, appointed Colm Barrington to its board of directors.

Barrington has a career spanning more than 50 years in the global aviation industry, starting in 1968 at Aer Lingus. In 1980, he joined GPA Group, where he held various senior management positions and helped establish and develop a global market for the sale of leased aircraft as financial assets. In 1993, Barrington oversaw the acquisition of GPA Group by GE Capital Aviation Services and was then appointed president of GECAS Ireland.

Barrington left his role at GECAS soon after to start his own aircraft lease management company, which later merged into Babcock & Brown. Following the merger, he remained at Babcock & Brown and was responsible for managing and developing aircraft operating lease and management activities globally for its aircraft operating lease division known as BBAM. When Babcock & Brown Air (later renamed Fly Leasing) was launched on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007, he served as CEO and director until it was sold to Carlyle Aviation in 2021. Following that sale, Barrington stepped down from a full-time executive role and served as a senior ambassador to BBAM.

In addition to his executive roles, Barrington has served in various non-executive director roles at public companies in the aircraft leasing, airline, real estate and financial services sectors, including non-executive chairman at Aer Lingus from 2008 to 2015 and vice chair of Finnair from 2016 to 2021.

“We are delighted to announce the addition of Colm to our board of directors,” Charles F. Willis, founder and executive chairman of Willis Lease Finance, said. “Colm’s worldwide reputation as a pioneer in aircraft leasing precedes him. His profound understanding of the aviation industry, coupled with his extensive experience in senior management and public company board roles across international financial markets like New York, Dublin, London and Helsinki, positions him as an excellent asset in steering our company towards sustained growth and enduring success. We look forward to leveraging his knowledge, particularly as we advance our proprietary engine program services, including our ConstantThrust and ConstantAccess products.”

“I’m delighted to be joining Charlie and his team at WLFC at this exciting time in the company’s development,” Barrington said. “The rapid recovery from the COVID years, particularly evident in the strong 2023 financial results, allied to an increasing demand for replacement engines augurs well for growth and success in the future. I hope that my industry and corporate experience can supplement the broad range of operational and management skills that have made WLFC the premier lessor of engines to the world’s airlines.”

Robert Keady, a former director on the board at Willis Lease Finance, submitted his resignation from the board, with the resignation accepted and effective as of April 1.

“Bob’s incredible experience and expertise in the aviation industry have been very much appreciated by WLFC and me personally. We will certainly remember his contributions and thank him for his many years of service,” Willis said.

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