TEAM

The Arena Aviation Capital Team shares a broad and longstanding expertise in aircraft investing, trading, financing and managing, as well as in transaction structuring and aircraft leasing portfolio development.

Patrick den Elzen

Chief Executive Officer & Founding Partner
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Patrick

Patrick den Elzen

Chief Executive Officer & Founding Partner
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ABOUT

Patrick den Elzen joined SGI Aviation as Special Advisor to the Board in 2013 to take responsibility for strategic development and to lead the Arena project. Until 2010, Patrick held the position of Chief Trading Officer at AerCap (ticker: AER), responsible for aircraft acquisitions, sales, and new orders.

From 2005 onwards, Patrick served at the Executive Management committee of AerCap. He oversaw its development into a leading industry player with a portfolio growing from $2.5Bio in 2003 to $7Bio in 2010. Patrick was responsible for the buying, selling and ordering of $11Bio. worth of aircraft.

Prior to joining AerCap, Patrick worked at IEM AirFinance (formerly ING Aviation Lease), being instrumental in the sale of the company to Abbey National in 2000. He started his career at ING Aviation Lease. Patrick holds an MBA majoring in International Finance and Business Administration of the University of Amsterdam.

Erik Dahmen

Chief Commercial Officer & Founding Partner
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Erik

Erik Dahmen

Chief Commercial Officer & Founding Partner
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Erik is a senior industry figure and one of the founders of the company. Apart from a massive network he brought with him 25 years of experience in the acquisition, financing, leasing and trading of commercial aircraft. Erik joined SGI Aviation as advisor in 2012 and was instrumental in the project that led to the creation of Arena.

Until 2010 Erik was part of the management team of Waha Capital, then a listed big ticket leasing company in the United Arab Emirates. Erik started his leasing career as commercial director of Oasis Leasing in 2001, based in Abu Dhabi. At Oasis and later Waha he was responsible for building and managing the aircraft portfolio,  aircraft repossessions and placing aircraft on lease world-wide.

In 2011 he was retained by Bahraini investment bank Gulf Finance House, to help set up a Sharia compliant leasing company. Prior to his leasing career Erik worked as a structured finance specialist, for banks in London and Amsterdam. Erik holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

Diederik Lindhout

Chief Operating Officer & Founding Partner
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Diederik

Diederik Lindhout

Chief Operating Officer & Founding Partner
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Prior to joining Arena, Diederik started his career in the aviation leasing in 2001 with debis AirFinance (now AerCap). After having spent almost 4 years within the Contracts Managing department where he was responsible for the day-to-day lease management relating to more than 30 lessees, he moved to the Portfolio Management and Trading department where he served as a VP, initially focusing on the trading out of AerCap’s older fleet of aircraft (Fokker 100, MD80 and B737 classics). In addition he dealt with the acquisition and sale of new aircraft and complex beneficial ownership transfers. During his 12 years tenure within AerCap, he also managed and was involved in the negotiation of the company’s forward orders with Airbus and Boeing (>130 aircraft) and the engine OEMs. Diederik holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Management, Economic and Law) from Hanzehogeschool Groningen.

Dirk-Jan Smit

Chief Financial Officer
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Dirk-Jan

Dirk-Jan Smit

Chief Financial Officer
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Dirk Jan joined Arena Aviation Capital BV June 2016 as Advisor and Project Manager. His target is to build and secure organizational governance and reporting and to initiate further funding initiatives. Dirk Jan started his career as assistant accountant at Price Waterhouse. After that he switched to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines where he worked for seven years. First as Head of Corporate Accounting and later as Audit Manager. Subsequently Dirk Jan joined NIB Capitals’ aviation finance team where he was responsible for sourcing, closing and syndicating aviation finance transactions. In 2000 Dirk Jan started as independent advisor and interim manager. Most of his clients were financial institutions and pension funds (PGGM, ING, Robeco KLM Pension fund).  He held interim positions like: Finance Director, Head of IT, Head of Internal Audit and Head of Risk Management. Dirk Jan is Supervisor at AkzoNobel Netherlands  pension fund. Dirk Jan holds a master in economics from Universiteit Groningen and became Register Accountant (Dutch CPA) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

Andreas Goericke

Chief Technical Officer
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Andreas

Andreas Goericke

Chief Technical Officer
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Andreas joined Arena summer 2016 as Chief Technical Officer. Andreas has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, having started his aviation career in 1983 as aircraft mechanic apprentice. In 1990 he joined Lufthansa Technik where he was working in the area of aircraft maintenance and consulting qualified for the maintenance of various aircraft and engine types. After that, in 2002, Andreas joined DSF, an aircraft leasing subsidiary of a German bank and an arranger for closed-end real assets funds with focus on aircraft transactions, as an asset manager. He was appointed as DSF’s Technical Director in 2008. In that context, Andreas was responsible, inter alia, for the purchase, lease, sale, redelivery, repossession and maintenance oversight of a large number of aircraft. In his latest position he was the managing director of a subsidiary of DSF, DSF Flugzeug portfolio Gmbh, an owner of several 737 aircraft.

Selim Cherif

SVP Aircraft Investment & Portfolio Management
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Selim

Selim Cherif

SVP Aircraft Investment & Portfolio Management
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Prior to join Arena,  Selim spent 10 years in the Aircraft Finance and Leasing industry, having started his career as Analyst with PK Air Finance in 2005 and then Calyon in 2006. After that, Selim worked for 7 years at MDT (UK) Ltd, first as Portfolio Manager before moving to a Marketing and Business Development role with a focus on the Regional Aircraft sector. From 2015, he continued developing his Leasing business experience as VP with Lighthouse Aviation.  Selim received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Reims Management School in 2007 and his Master in Project and Structured Finance from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in 2010.

Ruth Martínez Abrego

VP Legal & Contracts
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Ruth

Ruth Martínez Abrego

VP Legal & Contracts
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Ruth joined Arena on November 2016 and before that has held several positions within the aviation industry for the last 12 years. Having started her career in different law firms and later on in the local Government, Ruth began in aviation when she joined Mexicana Airlines as part of the legal department where she was responsible for a fleet around 90 aircraft together with the low-cost airline partner Aerocaribe.  She moved to The Netherlands in 2006 and later on joined AerData as part of the back-office as a Contract Manager and later on continued developing in Mass-Lease as Lease Manager and Legal Affairs with a Portfolio on the Regional Aircraft sector.  Ruth has a Bachelor in law in Mexico City at Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) and has a Master in Science and Public Administration from Instituto Politecnico Nacional.

Sohra Wijnen

Business Support Officer
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Sohra

Sohra Wijnen

Business Support Officer
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Sohra joined Arena Aviation Capital B.V. January 2018 as Business Support Officer. Her responsibilities are taking care of the office, support colleagues where ever needed and making sure the financial administration is up-to-date. Sohra started working straight after high school and developed her finance and accounting skills through experience and specific training. For the past 8 years, she has worked for an international Trust office in a similar support role with the accent on the financial administration.

Ivo Kirilov

SVP Marketing, Asia
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Ivo

Ivo Kirilov

SVP Marketing, Asia
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Ivo joined Arena in early 2023 to lead growth and expansion in Asia, continuing to enhance Arena's global presence and industry profile.

 

Ivo is an accomplished aviation professional with a unique mix of 25years of commercial and analytical experience in aircraft leasing & finance and aviation consulting, acquired at senior roles with industry-leading organizations such as BOC Aviation, Altavair, DVB, ICF and others.  Prior to joining Arena, Ivo led underwriting at an aircraft investment manager with ca. 40x aircraft AUM and established the Asia marketing office for a boutique aircraft investor with a portfolio of 10x widebody freighters. Previously, Ivo was a senior member of BOC Aviation's Portfolio Planning &Analysis team, responsible for mid-life aircraft transactions, ABS modelling& investor relations, as well as strategic planning & analysis for BOC Aviation's portfolio of 500+ aircraft.  Ivo originally acquired the bulk of his aircraft leasing knowledge at Altavair (f.k.a. Guggenheim Aviation Partners) where he developed the investment fund’s analytical core, including pricing, portfolio management, investor relations and airline credit analysis.

 

Ivo is able to communicate and conduct business in 7x languages and holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dax Biesbrouck

VP Aircraft Investment & Trading
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Dax

Dax Biesbrouck

VP Aircraft Investment & Trading
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Dax joined Arena Aviation Capital August 2017. It was agreed that whilst being part of the Arena team and work force from day 1, Dax would go through an intensive training program during his initial stint with the company, covering all different areas of Arena’s business. Prior to joining Arena, Dax completed a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, a Master of Science in Management at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and in addition the ISTAT University Program – a one year certificate program covering all facets of the aviation finance and leasing industry.

Pablo Bottachi

VP Business Development
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Pablo

Pablo Bottachi

VP Business Development
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Sound Senior Executive with a 18 year track record in the aviation leasing industry. Pablo held senior positions in different leasing companies and worked for five years in Bombardier Commercial Aircraft as Sales Director for Latin America.

He holds an Industrial Engineering Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administrationfrom the Rotterdam School of Management in The Netherlands.

Jelte de Jong

VP Sales & Contracts
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Jelte

Jelte de Jong

VP Sales & Contracts
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After completing a Bachelor graduate of the University of Amsterdam in History and Conflict Mediation, Jelte graduated from formal pilot academy as ATPL and Commercial Pilot License holder. Jelte's previous employers include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Boeing's subsidiary AerData, where he worked for 5 years after which he moved to strengthen Arena's Contracts and Trading teams in 2017.

Tomas Kennes

VP Technical
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Tomas

Tomas Kennes

VP Technical
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Tomas joined the Arena team November 2017 as Technical Asset Manager. During his 15 year career Tomas held several different positions within the regional aviation industry. In 2003 Tomas started as a production planner within Exel Technics a line and base maintenance provider, subsequently he joined the ACMI provider Denim Air and the airline VLM. Within these companies he worked on the planning and control and engineering departments, being responsible for day to day operations and long term control, for major components, both on budget and engineering level.

In 2010 Tomas joined Mass lease, a privately owned aircraft leasing company, as Technical Manager. In this role he was co-responsible for managing the technical aspects of the Mass fleet. He managed a number of maintenance visits, aircraft deliveries and so on. Tomas holds a Bachelor’s degree of Operational Aircraft Technology at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Songyuan (Andy) Gao

Technical Asset Manager
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Andy

Songyuan (Andy) Gao

Technical Asset Manager
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Andy joined Arena Aviation Capital in May 2020 as Technical Asset Manager. He started his career in aviation with Tianjin Airlines in 2014, where he was working in the area of aircraft line maintenance and then fleet maintenance program. After graduating from the Master of Aviation Finance at Smurfit Business School in Dublin in 2018, he joined ORIX Aviation working in the Technical department. Andy also holds a CAAC Part-66 Aircraft Maintenance License and a Bachelor’s degree of Aircraft Propulsion Engineering at the Civil Aviation University of China.

Sam Callaghan

Technical and Powerplant Manager
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Sam

Sam Callaghan

Technical and Powerplant Manager
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Sam joined Arena Aviation Capital in January 2022 as a Technical Asset Manager and changed roles to Technical and Powerplant Manager in 2023.  Sam is responsible for handling all technical matters across our diverse aircraft and engine portfolio, including managing full aircraft and engine Deliveries/Redeliveries, engine leasing and engine sales.

After achieving First Class Honours in Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Technological University Dublin, Sam worked for CAE Parc Aviation. Sam joined as part of their engineering department where he held roles as a Part 21 Design Engineer and CAMO Engineer for 2 years. Sam was predominantly responsible for the running of a Boeing Conversion Freighter program for a major aircraft leasing company before moving into aircraft leasing industry with Arena Aviation Capital.

Jonathan Robertson

Financial Controller
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Jonathan

Jonathan Robertson

Financial Controller
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Jonathan joined the Arena Aviation Capital in December 2022 as a Financial Controller. He started his career with Deloitte in Amsterdam 6,5 years ago before joining the Arena team. During his time with Deloitte he undertook an array of projects and assignments within different companies in various industries, such as aviation, retail, energy and more. Focusing on financial goals and tasks, he was responsible for projects ranging from audit preparation, ERP implementation, starting businesses in new countries, compilation of annual accounts and bookkeeping/monthly reporting. He holds a Bachelor degree in Business Economics and a Masters degree in Accounting and Control.

Jeroen Martens

Pricing & Credit Risk Manager
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Jeroen

Jeroen Martens

Pricing & Credit Risk Manager
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After short internships at the technical department of Arena Aviation Capital and TrueNoord, Jeroen joined Arena Aviation Capital in June 2022 as a Trainee and was involved in the various departments within Arena. Jeroen has undertaken the role of Pricing & Credit Risk Manager.

Jeroen holds a BSc. in Aviation Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and a MSc. in Aviation Finance at UCD Smurfit Business School, Dublin, Ireland.

Roger Bowe

Contract Manager
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Roger

Roger Bowe

Contract Manager
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Roger joined Arena Aviation Capital in December 2022 as a Contract Manager based in the Dublin office. Prior to joining Arena, Roger started his aviation career in 2017 at a regional aircraft lessor also based in Dublin, working in the areas of Contracts, Commercial, Finance and Technical. Roger completed a Masters in Strategic Management & Planning from the UCD Smurfit Business School along with the Higher Diploma in Aviation Leasing & Finance from the Law Society of Ireland.

Colin O'Sullivan

Trainee
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Colin

Colin O'Sullivan

Trainee
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Colin joined Arena Aviation Capital in June 2023 as a Trainee and will learn from the various departments within Arena. Prior to joining Arena, Colin completed a B.A.I. in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity College Dublin and a MSc. in Aviation Finance at UCD Smurfit Business School.

Michela Cera

Senior Contract Manager
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Michela

Michela Cera

Senior Contract Manager
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Michela joined Arena Aviation Capital in September 2023 as a Senior Contracts Manager based in the Dublin office. She started her aviation career in 2014 as part of the Toulouse-based delivery and customer support team in CALC, and subsequently moved to a contract management role within Goshawk & SMBC. Prior to that, Michela spent six years in Beijing where she completed a Master program with the Graduate School of Translation and Interpreting at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and subsequently worked in the automotive and events management industry. She is fluent in Italian, English, French and Mandarin.