A new aircraft leasing business is to create 40
jobs over the next three years and is already working on deals in
Nigeria and Brazil.

Milestone Aviation will focus 80 percent of
its business on helicopters, mainly for government and corporate
use, including emergency services and healthcare companies; and oil
and gas exploration operations looking to transport workers to rigs
and offshore sites. It was set up by Richard Santulli, who founded
private jet leasing company NetJets in the 1980s, later selling it
to investor Warren Buffet.

Milestone Aviation’s headquarters will be in
Dublin, taking advantage of the skills pool there and the
favourable tax climate. It will buy helicopters from companies
including EADS’s Eurocopter and Agusta Westland, and jets from
Bombardier and Gulfstream, and lease them out on a monthly basis.
The chief executive is William Kelly, former chief executive of
NetJets Europe and previously an accountant at KPMG.

The company claims to be the first globally-focused speciality
finance company working solely in helicopter and private jet
leasing. Santulli secured capital backing from American private
equity houses The Jordan Company and Nautic Partners at a total of
$500m (€380m). New deals are expected to be announced in the next
six weeks.


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