AIG taps ex-Airbus executive to lead ILFC: WSJ

AIG taps ex-Airbus executive to lead ILFC: WSJ

American International Group has named Henri Courpron as chief executive officer of its aircraft leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC), the Wall Street Journal said.

Courpron, a French citizen, aviation investment banker and former Airbus executive, took up the top post at ILFC on Tuesday, the Journal said.

ILFC has been without a permanent CEO since February, when former chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy retired from the company he co-founded in 1973. John Plueger briefly stepped in to head ILFC, but left in March to join a start-up aircraft lessor formed by Udvar-Hazy.

Alan Lund has been ILFC’s interim CEO since Plueger left.

“The first priority is to reassure employees, clients and business partners that ILFC is in business not to follow but to lead," Courpron told the paper in an interview on Tuesday.

“ILFC is not in a crisis -- it is in a situation like many other companies that are facing a difficult financing market environment," Courpron told the paper.

Los Angeles-based ILFC, with a portfolio of more than 1,000 aircraft, became one of the biggest customers for Boeing and Airbus.

AIG and ILFC could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular US business hours.