Waypoint Leasing [Booth 10751] plans to open new regional offices covering Australia and Africa and the Middle East early this year, the company has said.
The new offices will add to ones Waypoint has in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. The company, formally known as Waypoint Leasing (Ireland) Limited, is among the largest independent helicopter lessors in the world
Waypoint’s Australia office will be located in Brisbane and will be opened in April, led by Chris Wakefield. The company said establishing the office will further bolster Waypoint’s presence across the region, where it has already delivered five aircraft to several leading operators.
Con Barber will lead Waypoint’s Africa office, which will be opened in Cape Town, South Africa, in the second quarter. In addition to covering Waypoint’s operations across Africa, Barber will oversee the firm’s Middle East operations. As of mid-February, Waypoint had 12 aircraft on lease to operators in Africa.
Wakefield and Barber will report to Waypoint’s SVP of sales and relationship management, Clark McGinn.
“These are important, growing markets and we are further expanding our global reach to better serve our customers,” said McGinn. The executives leading the new offices “have extensive knowledge of their respective regions and the overarching helicopter leasing landscape.”
McGinn said the moves would help “deepen our existing customer relationships, develop new ones and continue expanding throughout Australia, Africa and the Middle East.”
Wakefield will serve as VP of sales and relationship management. Prior to joining Waypoint in January, Wakefield worked for almost five years as part of CHC Helicopter’s aviation finance team in Dublin, Ireland. There he was responsible for relationship management and contract negotiation with lessors, banks and export credit agencies, with a particular emphasis on the Australian market.
Prior to that, Wakefield worked for the boutique aviation finance law firm IWG Daws LLP. He earned a degree in law from the University College of London and a master’s in law from the University of New South Wales in Australia.
Waypoint’s director of sales and relationship management, Barber has 20 years of experience in aviation, having served in a wide variety of technical, project management and strategic advisory roles.
Prior to joining Waypoint, he was the chief technical officer for fixed-wing aircraft with the Irish Air Corps. There he played a key role in that service’s helicopter fleet renewal program, which introduced a new fleet of Airbus Helicopters EC135 and AgustaWestland AW139 multi-mission helicopters.
While with the Irish Air Corps, he was assigned to fleet management roles for the European Union and the Swedish air force. He also has worked for Rose Aviation Ltd. and the United Nations in various aviation leadership roles in Europe and Africa.
Barber earned a primary degree in aeronautical engineering from Queen’s University and has various post-graduate qualifications, including an MBA and Master of Science from the Smurfit Business School at the University College Dublin and a master’s degree from the National University of Ireland.