Founder and CEO
Christian Nuehlen is the founder and CEO of Aircraft Finance Germany GmbH. He 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, he 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 holds 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.
Chief Commercial Officer
Deepak Sharma is the Chief Commercial Officer of AFG based in Frankfurt and London.
Deepak has nearly 30 years of experience in the aviation industry. Before joining AFG, he held the position of President of Integrated Solutions at AAR. He joined AAR in 2015. Prior to this, Deepak held the position of Chief Technical Officer at AJW Group, which he joined in 2008. He also held the Engineering Director’s position at UK International Airlines.
Managing Director Business Aviation
Christian Hatje is the Managing Director Business Aviation and acts as Senior Vice President Commercial at AFG. 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. Before joining AFG, he was CEO of Sparfell & Partners in Geneva, Switzerland.
Managing Director, Ireland
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.
Head of Freighter Trading
Peter Koster is the Head of Freighter Lease and Trading at AFG, he joined the company in September 2019.
Previously, Peter played leading roles in various Passenger to Freighter (P2F) conversion programs. 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.
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.
Pedro Ibarra has joined 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.
Mauricio Guevara is an Aviation professional with over 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.
Chief Counsel / Head of Legal
Martin Walter is the Chief Counsel / Head of Legal of Aircraft Finance Germany GmbH. He advises AFG and its affiliated companies on all legal and regulatory matters.
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.
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 pro fessional in the field of major component & engine contract support and has also worked on various aircraft acquisitions with several of the main carriers.
Mr. Manuel Kliem joined AFG 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.
Head of Engine Trading
Alan Phelan joined AFG as Head of Engine Trading and advises the Technical and Commercial teams on engine purchases, exchanges and engine MRO requirements. Alan is the founder of APTN.aero, the first professional body for aircraft technical professionals.
He was formerly Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at HaoTong AeroTech in charge of their technical and sales operation in Dublin. Alan has over 30 years’ experience in various senior sales, customer support, marketing and aircraft engine leasing roles, most recently with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg and Dublin and previously with Airmotive Ireland, a jet engine overhaul facility located in Dublin. Alan has an in-depth knowledge of the aircraft leasing business and holds the Irish Law Society’s Diploma in Aircraft Leasing and Finance and a MBA in Aviation from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
South East Asia
Mr. Thai Pham spent more than eleven years of his career with aircraft maintenance and repair organizations (MRO).
Before joining 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.
Middle East and Africa
Jalal Diab joined 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.
Asia & CIS
Nick Potapov is the Managing Director Asia & CIS at AFG.
Nick began his career at Transaero Airlines, where he held multiple senior positions including Head of Fleet Development and Chief Financial Officer. At various stages during his more than 11-year stint at the airline Mr. Potapov was responsible for all financial and fleet matters of the company. From early 2016 until mid-2020, Nick was Head of Aviation at VEB Leasing and VEB Bank, where he successfully managed an extensive restructuring, transformation and development program of a multibillion-dollar aviation portfolio.
Asia & CIS
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 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.
José Zaidan Maluf
José Zaidan Maluf
José Zaidan Maluf joined AFG 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.
Jon Lash joined AFG in November 2019 and is Sales Director of North America. He brings over 20 years of aviation experience, including 12 years with United Airlines in various capacities. He specializes in both business jets and airliners and over the years has assisted both buyers and sellers with sourcing or placing their aircraft. He also has managed various maintenance and conversion projects for clients.
Being part of the AFG team achieves his goal of working with a worldwide team on aircraft sales and acquisitions.
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.
Mehmet Can joined AFG 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.
Mr. Tohru Saito spent more than 30 years working for Japan Airlines in various executive roles and across different departments. His roles included maintenance, aircraft and engine selection, design and engineering, group fleet planning, aircraft specifications and major modification such as passenger to freighter conversions. He then lead the engine maintenance center as general manager. He also worked for GE aircraft engines as a seconded employee at the combustion center of excellence in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He later became the MD of the Association of Air Transport Engineering and adopted Aerospace regulations for MROs, flight operations and cabin safety from FAA and EASA. He also worked closely with IATA and ICAO. He holds a master of science in metallographic engineering from Osaka University. He lives in Tokyo with his family and enjoys spending time playing golf and traveling.
Miss Kira Chong has more than 20 years of experience in various management and sales & marketing roles in business and commercial aviation. Before joining Aircraft Finance Germany, Kira worked For The Boeing Company and Bombardier in sales and marketing positions. She was also responsible for the marketing efforts in Asia Pacific for Titan Aviation Leasing, a cargo aircraft lessor.
Kira holds degrees in Accounting and Finance and in Business Administration. She obtained her Masters Degree from Macquarie Graduate School of Management in 2005. Kira is based in Singapore.