Christian Nuehlen is the founder and CEO of Aircraft Finance Germany GmbH (AFG), a specialized boutique aircraft trading firm in Frankfurt, Germany. AFG was established to serve the needs of airlines, financial institutions, aircraft manufacturers and international leasing companies
Mr. Nuehlen can draw on his experience in the commercial aviation industry spanning close to two decades in various roles.
Since 2007, Mr. Nuehlen has been assisting leading aircraft lessors, airlines, banks and consulting firms with matters related to aircraft leasing, financing and transactions through his consulting firm Blueberry Xpress Deutschland. In 2011, Blueberry opened a second office in Singapore.
Before founding Blueberry Xpress, Mr. Nuehlen was a member of the management board and general counsel of XL Airways Germany, part of the XL Airways Group headquartered in London. He began his career in the aviation industry in the legal department of Aero Lloyd German Airlines.
Mr. Nuehlen received a law degree from the University of Münster, Germany and a Master of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Providence College, USA. Mr. Nuehlen is a member of the German-American Lawyers Association and the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT), has published numerous works in industry publications, and frequently speaks at international aviation conferences. He is a guest lecturer with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences where he teaches courses in aviation law.
Mr. Nuehlen is married with two daughters and lives near Frankfurt.
Declan Meagher is the Managing Director of AFG Aviation Ireland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircraft Finance Germany. Mr. Meagher has over 35 years of experience in the aviation Industry and has held key senior managerial positions worldwide with Air France, The Memphis Group (GECAS), AJW Walter Aviation and HAITEC. Throughout his career he has been actively involved in developing global markets by employing innovative strategies, driving business development and winning new business. He has always played a pivotal role in creating brand awareness and corporate identity for the companies he has represented.
In September 2017, Mr. Meagher was appointed Managing Director, AFG Ireland. His role is to strengthen AFG’s corporate presence in Ireland, by transacting business with aircraft leasing companies, OEMS, banking institutions and all other Irish based aviation entities.
Declan Meagher lives in Dublin. He is a business graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a fluent French speaker.
Deepak Sharma is the Chief Commercial Officer of Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG) based in Frankfurt and London.
Prior to AFG, Deepak held the position of President of Integrated Solutions at AAR. Deepak joined AAR in 2015. Prior to this, Deepak held the position of Chief Technical Officer at AJW Group, which he joined in 2008. Deepak also held the Engineering Director’s position at UK International Airlines.
Deepak served in a wide range of strategy, sales & marketing, operations, engineering and program management leadership assignments. Deepak has more than 20 years of aerospace technical and business experience. Before joining UKIA in 2005, he held various operations and engineering positions at British Aerospace & Brymon Airways Engineering – a subsidiary of British Airways.
Deepak holds a Master of Science in Aircraft Systems Engineering from the UWE, England and EASA Licenses in multiple categories. Deepak also holds various other qualifications in the field of Aviation, Contract Law and Business Administration.
Christian Hatje is the Managing Director Business Aviation and acts as Senior Vice President Commercial at Aircraft Finance Germany. Christian can draw on over 28 years of commercial and business aviation experience.
Christian began his career at Airbus covering engineering and asset management. In his role with Lufthansa Consulting, Christian managed a diversified portfolio of customers ranging from commercial operators to leading corporate clients before taking over responsibilities at Lufthansa Technik serving financiers and leasing companies.
Christian was the founder and head of Amentum Capital, an aircraft leasing company based in Ireland, managing an aircraft portfolio of more than $2.2 billion.
Christian served at the helm of Business Aviation of Privat Air and became Chairman and President of the first ever alliance between business jet operators worldwide.
He has considerable experience in aircraft acquisitions as well as aircraft sales covering commercial aircraft, business jets, and helicopters. Christian served as a member of the Board of Governors of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and is a member of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT).
Martin Walter is the Head of Legal of Aircraft Finance Germany GmbH (AFG) and advises AFG and its affiliated companies on all legal matters.
Mr. Walter started his professional carrier in 2007 when he joined the international law firm White & Case as an Associate in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Corporate Law. From 2011 he worked as a Senior Associate with European law firm Noerr LLP in the same areas.
Before joining AFG, Martin was part of the corporate legal department at Air Berlin from 2012 until July 2017. In his role as Senior Legal Counsel, he was responsible as a business partner for aircraft leasing and financing as well as other aircraft transactions. He also oversaw the airline’s corporate matters (including the legal management of its various subsidiaries worldwide) and was involved in numerous corporate restructuring measures.
Mr. Walter received a law degree from the University of Leipzig, Germany and is fully qualified to practise law in Germany. In addition, he is a graduate of a special lawyers’ course provided by the German Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltsverein) and the Open University in Hagen, Germany (FernUniversität in Hagen).
Martin Walter lives in Berlin. He is a native German speaker and fluent in English with a good working knowledge of French.
Ulf Gedamke started his aviation career at the airberlin group in 2009, where he was responsible as SVP for the entire asset & finance management of the airberlin group, including all financing and fleet matters as well as treasury and fuel management. He has successfully managed several restructuring programs including a fleet rollover to an all Airbus fleet.
From the end of 2015 until mid-2017, he was responsible at Etihad Airways for the asset & finance management of Etihad Airways Partners.
Prior to his aviation career, Ulf had different senior functions at Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank as well as with Bombardier for over 15 years. He was responsible for global corporates at Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank and corporate finance at Bombardier including the financing of the development phase of the Bombardier CSeries.
With 20 years of experience in the aviation and finance industries, Ulf has developed a wide and global professional network and successfully completed over 250 aircraft transactions.
Peter Koster, Head of Freighter Lease and Trading at Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG), joined the company in September 2019.
Previously, Peter played leading rolesin various Passenger to Freighter (P2F) conversion programs such as ATR-72, B737-400 and in particular leading the A321-200 prototype conversion by both STC design houses EFW and Precision Aircraft Services.
Peter Koster looks back at an extensive career in air cargo operations including key positions with Cargolux Airlines, China Airlines Cargo, Martinair and West Atlantic, where he held the position of Managing Director and Accountable Manager of the Luxembourg AOC.
Peter studied Maritime Logistics in Rotterdam followed by a Master of Business Administration degree from the Luxembourg University ISAC. Peter has been a frequent panel speaker in Air Cargo fleet development panels and Freighter Conversion panels and has edited two scientific publications on aviation related issues.
Pedro Ibarra has joined Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG) as Commercial Vice President with a demonstrated history of working in the aviation and aerospace industry.
Since 1989, Pedro has had a long and distinguished career at Airbus. As sales director for Latin America and Spain, he was involved in many successful campaigns in those regions. In 2005 he moved to Airbus Spain as Head of Government and International Relations involved in the launching of the A350 program. Before joining AFG, Pedro spent 10 years with Avinco in Monaco as Commercial Vice President. Pedro is a strong sales professional qualified as an aeronautical design engineer with a degree from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. He also holds an Executive MBA focused on Business Administration and Management from Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.
Mauricio Guevara is an Aviation professional with 25+ years in the industry and with a wide variety of experience ranging from aircraft manufacturing, to MRO services and aircraft leasing and management.
Throughout his career with Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, Amentum Capital (today FPG Amentum) and Avinco (today Blueberry Aviation), Mr. Guevara has held senior managerial positions and has been involved in aircraft selection, business development and sales activities of aircraft and services around the globe.
Mauricio began his career with Airbus as a project engineer and in aircraft marketing in Hamburg and Toulouse. He holds two degrees from Munich University of Applied Science as Aeronautical and Industrial Engineer. He also received a Master of Science degree in Air Transport Management from the University of Cranfield, UK.
José Zaidan Maluf joined Aircraft Finance Germany in January 2018 as Director Sales & Marketing Latin America.
Jose started his career in the Airline Industry in 1995 jointing TAM, a Regional Airline in Brazil.
After the merger between TAM and LAN in 2012, Jose was promoted to VP of Fleet and Engines – managing the joint fleet of the new company of more than 300 aircraft.
In this role, he had to renegotiate all contracts of the two companies, jointing them and trying to have the best of two words.
In 2016 Jose left LATAM and subsequently took advisory roles with Azul and TAP Portugal.
Jose graduated as an electrical engineer and started his career in a design and project company called ESCA in Brazil focusing on transportation projects.
James Hardman is the Latin America Director for AFG.
Mr. Hardman can draw on over 10 years of experience dividing his time between Sao Paulo, Brazil and the United Kingdom. James has been working in various sectors of commercial aviation across South America. He enjoys strong relationships with many of the major airlines in the region with a particular focus on Brazilian carriers.
He is an experienced professional in the field of major component & engine contract support and has also worked on various aircraft acquisitions with several of the main carriers.
James is now leveraging his experience and knowledge of the region to grow AFG’s presence in this growth market. He has participated in various Aviation Week & ALTA Conference panels in the region and is a regular attendee at ISTAT and the ALTA Leaders Forum.
Mr. Hardman is married with children and divides his time between the North of England and Sao Paulo.
Palli Borg is the Director of Business Development at AFG and has over 20 years of aviation experience. As a co-founder and Commercial Director of JetX (later Primera Air), Commercial Director of Astraeus and Fleet Manager of Iceland Express, Palli has gained an in-depth experience in aviation, including business plans, project management, regulatory compliance, procurement and the daily running of an airline.
Palli joined WOW air in Iceland during its first year of operation where he was responsible for fleet decisions and composition, aircraft and engine procurement, charter, wet lease and dry lease agreements and all aviation insurance. He also led the team that prepared and obtained the AOC of Wow air.
Palli holds a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration from Reykjavik University. He remains interested in high growth start-up companies and has acted in advisory and ownership roles in several aviation-related IT companies. Prior to working in aviation Palli worked as a record producer and sound engineer.
Palli is married with two young children and lives in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Mehmet Can joined Aircraft Finance Germany as Manager of Aircraft Sales and Marketing based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Mehmet started his career by forming his own software company while studying computer engineering. While attending law school, Mehmet also worked in his family’s real estate business. Mehmet is also involved in numerous e-commerce businesses.
In 2009, Mehmet started Can Aviation and has worked ever since as a freelance aviation broker until joining AFG.
Igor Komlev is the Regional Director of AFG covering Asia and the CIS.
Mr. Komlev started his career with Price Waterhouse Coppers, where he held leading roles in international assurance and advisory engagements.
In 2013, he joined VEB Leasing, where he oversaw the company’s aviation practice. Mr. Komlev successfully led VEB Leasing’s aviation unit through various stages of expansion and restructuring, building the lessor’s foreign clientele and presence and turning VEB Leasing into an internationally recognized leasing platform.
Prior to moving to AFG’s Frankfurt headquarters, Mr. Komlev spent two years on an international assignment for AFG in Shanghai, China, where he was responsible for developing the company’s client base in China and beyond.
Igor Komlev is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a CFA Level III candidate.
Barry Grimm joined AFG as Technical Director in 2014.
He started his professional carrier in 1970 as an aircraft engineer with Lufthansa in Frankfurt.
Later, he held various positions as team leader and station manager. He acted as line and base
maintenance manager supervising a team of 150 engineers at Aero Lloyd, where he was later
promoted to Manager Contracts and Fleet Management.
Mr. Grimm was a member of the management board and held the position of director
maintenance at XL Airways Germany, at the time part of the XL Airways Group headquartered
in London. In 2012, he was appointed to the position of accountable manager of XL Airways
Mr. Grimm graduated from the Technical School for Aircraft at Henschel Aircraft Manufacturer
in Kassel, Germany.
Barry Grimm lives in Frankfurt. Being a native German speaker, he is also fluent in English.
Mr. Manuel Kliem joined Aircraft Finance Germany as Director Asset Management in 2018.
Manuel started his career as technical manager with an aircraft lessor. He then joined Air Berlin where he held various technical positions.
Manuel holds a degree in aeronautics from the Technical University of his home town Berlin.
Mr. Thai Pham spent more than eleven years of his career with aircraft maintenance and repair organizations (MRO). Before joining Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG), he was General Manager Sales for the MRO of Vietnam Airlines in Hanoi. He specializes in marketing and actively maintains and develops customer relationships for and on behalf of AFG in South East Asia.
Thai started his career as an aircraft avionics engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Hanoi University of Technology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the French Vietnamese Center for Management Education (CFVG). He lives in Hanoi, is married and has a daughter.
Jalal Diab joined Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG) in February 2020 as a sales representative covering the Middle East and Africa. Jalal manages AFG’s new office located within the Dubai Airport Free Zone.
Jalal started his professional carrier in 1995 as an aircraft mechanic with Royal Jordanian Airlines in Amman, Jordan. He held various positions at the national flag carrier of Jordan including roles as team leader and aircraft maintenance inspector supervising a group of technicians.
In 2005, he joined Air Arabia in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as a line maintenance engineer. In 2009, Jalal was promoted to line maintenance shift manager managing a group of engineers and technicians.
Jalal graduated from the Civil Aviation Training Institute in Cairo, Egypt with a degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering. Jalal holds several licenses including FAA, UAE DGCA, and Jordan CARC.