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Nordic Aviation Capital CCO Murphy leaves aircraft lessor

LIMERICK-BASED aircraft leasing giant Nordic Aviation Capital has lost another key executive as lenders prepare to take control of the company.

he lessor has told staff that chief commercial officer Jim Murphy has left with immediate effect.

Lenders to the lessor are finalising a plan to convert most of their $6bn (€5bn) in debt with the company into equity.

The Irish Independent recently revealed that Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac has gone on gardening leave. His departure came after former Gecas CEO Norman Liu was named executive president of the leasing firm last month. Mr Liu had been an advisor to NAC for more than two years.

Mr Castelbajac, the former chief executive of aircraft maker ATR, took over as NAC chief executive a year ago.

Mr Murphy had been with NAC for almost two decades.

“Jim has, after 17+ years working in a senior leadership position with NAC and bringing the business to its position as the largest lessor in the regional and turboprop sector of the aircraft leasing industry, decided to stand down from the business as its restructuring efforts approach a successful conclusion,” said NAC chairman Rod Sheridan in a note to staff.

“We thank Jim for his significant contribution to NAC over many years and wish him every success in the years ahead,” he added. “Jim will be leaving the company immediately as we move into the next phase of restructuring.”

NAC has a fleet of almost 500 aircraft.

Just last week, it signed a deal to lease four turboprop aircraft to Conor McCarthy’s fledgling Emerald Airlines, which has been awarded a contract to operate the Aer Lingus Regional service.

Under a framework agreement reached with lenders last month, NAC is also planning to raise $300m via an equity raise and secure an additional $200m revolving credit facility.

It is also mulling options for its lease at the high-profile Gardens International office development in Limerick city.

NAC posted a $2.3bn loss in the 12 months to the end of June this year. That included the impairment of aircraft and other intangible assets. It recognised lease revenue of $642m in the latest fiscal year- a 15pc year-on-year decline.

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