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Home » Women in STEM » Changing the future of air travel with an exciting career in aviation leasing

Anna Killeen

Senior Asset Manager, Avolon

Pursuing a career in the aircraft leasing sector opens learning and career possibilities in a fast-paced industry at the forefront of new and sustainable technologies.

The aviation sector is a thriving industry in Ireland and offers more career options than you might realise, especially in the growing world of aircraft leasing. Anna Killeen is a senior asset manager at Avolon, one of the largest leasing companies with a portfolio of over 800 aircraft leased to over 140 airline customers. She shares her experiences working in this field.

“I think the default perspective is, ‘you’re in aviation, you must be a pilot,’” she says. “And that is such a small part of it. There are so many career choices within aviation, which are really interesting and dynamic. The routes to get into aviation are endless.”

Multiple career paths

Interest in maths, physics and chemistry at school led Killeen to explore engineering degrees at university by researching courses and attending open weeks to gauge her options. “I looked at all the different engineering courses, and aeronautical engineering is what I studied in the end,” she says. “It just jumped out to me as being really appealing and different.”

The routes to get into aviation are endless.

There are multiple pathways into the aircraft leasing sector and having a degree in an aviation-related topic is not the only entry point. The industry welcomes the different perspectives that a diverse workforce brings. “It’s the type of field that appreciates thought diversity. Your skill sets are so transferable here,” Killeen says. “There are unlimited opportunities for people, which is really appealing. It means that if you want to change your role and do something different, you don’t even need to change your sector.”

Environmental impact

The aviation leasing sector is currently finding solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges including climate change and the environmental impact of air travel. “The research and development that’s going on in this sector is astronomical, whether it’s electric aircraft or different fuel alternatives,” Killeen says. “Your day is never the same as the one before. You have so much space and opportunity to grow into whatever career you want.

For those with an interest in aviation but are not sure where to start, there are lots of resources and opportunities to discover more. “Just do some research, and ask as many questions as you can,” Killeen concludes. “Reach out to people within the aviation sector and ask them about their careers. There are so many exciting opportunities in this area that people aren’t aware of.”

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