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Dómhnal Slattery moves up at Vertical
Dómhnal Slattery has long supported development of the VX4 aircraft through his start up Avolon. Now, as non-executive chairman, he brings his deep aviation and capital markets expertise to the Vertical board.
Non-executive chairman Dómhnal Slattery.

UK-based Vertical Aerospace has appointed aviation industry veteran Dómhnal Slattery as non-executive chairman of its board of directors. Slattery succeeds Stephen Fitzpatrick as chairman, who has held the combined role of chairman and CEO since Vertical listed on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021.

Vertical founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick says: “Dómhnal is an outstanding appointment for Vertical; his proven track record over the last 30 years in aviation finance is unrivalled, and he brings senior level relationships with every major organisation across the global aviation industry. His vision for zero emissions flight will be invaluable for the Vertical board and its shareholders, and his appointment validates our ambition to lead the eVTOL sector globally.”

Slattery has over 30 years' experience in the global aviation finance industry. He is currently the founding CEO of Avolon, the world's second largest aircraft leasing company that place a US$2 billion order for up to 500 VA-X4 aircraft in June 2021. He brings a unique and diverse skillset to the Vertical board, and the experience to guide the business through the certification and commercialisation of its zero operating emissions eVTOL aircraft, the VX4.

His has a proven track record of scaling businesses through multiple industry cycles, including Avolon, from start-up to a franchise with a balance sheet in excess of $30 billion. He has experience in private and public markets, leading Avolon's IPO on the NYSE, and a deep understanding of the debt and equity capital markets having lead the raise of over $40 billion of debt and equity over the past decade as CEO of Avolon. His global network crosses the entire aviation supply chain, built up over 30 years and including high level relationships with major manufacturers, leasing firms, airlines and financial institutions. And he is recognised as an aviation industry thought leader, providing insights to manufacturers on commercial aircraft development.

Dómhnal Slattery remains CEO of Avolon, which is also a customer of, and an investor in, Vertical. He says: “Vertical is in the vanguard of innovation in the global aviation industry, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a central role in its growth and development. Over the past five years, Stephen has assembled an unrivalled team with a vision to revolutionise aviation through zero emissions air travel. I am excited to have the opportunity to deliver that vision and bring to market the VX4, an aircraft that will materially change the face of the transportation sector globally as we transition towards a net zero economy.”

Following the appointment, the Vertical board will comprise Dómhnal Slattery as non-executive chairman; independent non-executive directors Kathy Cassidy and Gur Kimchi; non-executive director Marcus Waley-Cohen; and executive directors Stephen Fitzpatrick (founder and CEO), Vincent Casey (CFO) and Michael Cervenka (president).

Vertical has deliberately chosen a differentiated approach to its peer group. Its focus is on designing, manufacturing, selling and servicing aircraft, which allows its airline partners and other customers to deploy the aircraft as opposed to Vertical developing its own customer-facing operations or ride-share platform. This has enabled the company to have what it believes is the largest conditional pre-order book (by value) in the eVTOL industry, of up to 1,350 aircraft worth $5.4 billion from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, including pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and through Avolon's placements, airlines JAL and Gol.

Vertical expects its aircraft, the VX4, to be certified by EASA, which it believes to be the highest global certification standard. Consequently, it expects the VX4 will be in commercial operation by the mid-2020s.

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