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Growing new-aircraft production spurs investor interest and ISTAT membership

Industry forum sees record attendance, membership levels amid 'golden age' for aircraft financing and leasing

SAN DIEGO, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As global aircraft building heads toward record production again in 2014 and airline traffic worldwide continues its relentless growth, the business of building, leasing, financing and trading commercial aircraft is seeing what some call its "golden age."

To listen to officers of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), whose not-for-profit association opened its 31st annual ISTAT Americas event here today, the high level of market activity is lifting aircraft financing and investing opportunities, and ISTAT membership and meeting attendance, to record levels.

"Year after year ISTAT has grown as the premier forum for connecting people looking for aircraft delivery funding with those willing to invest in them. From its start as an organization representing the lessors and traders of used commercial aircraft, ISTAT today has grown to over 3,500 members, and ISTAT Americas attendance topped more than 1,600 for another record year," said Jep Thornton, the Society's president and an aircraft financing executive.

Since its founding days, ISTAT has expanded to serve executives in aircraft operations, manufacturing, maintenance, sales, financing, trading, appraising and related services. 

Billed as an international air show without the airplanes, the annual meeting features leading industry executives who debate current issues and trends.

"ISTAT provides a phenomenal forum for those involved in aircraft financing and leasing to come together with both the manufacturers and ultimate users of the jets," said Doug Runte, ISTAT's treasurer and managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities.

The Americas event is the largest of ISTAT's three annual global conferences. However ISTAT's expansion is mapped to what the aviation industry itself is experiencing.

"We're successfully emphasizing the "I" in ISTAT, with events in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and we're seeing a particularly growing membership in Asia, matching its promise as the leading emerging market," said Runte.

ISTAT Americas is also when the Society presents its annual ISTAT Award, its highest honor for lifetime achievement in commercial aviation. The winner for 2014 is C.N. "Pete" Seidlitz, a founding member of ISTAT and the current president of Bristol Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based aircraft remarketing firm. Seidlitz is the Society's 13th honoree since the ISTAT Award was established in 2001.


For over 30 years, the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) has been dedicated to fostering and promoting interest and educational opportunities in commercial aviation while providing a forum for those involved in the aviation and supporting industries. For more information, please visit


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