Air Lease Corp.
Steven Udvar-Hazy is a pioneer of airplane leasing. He founded International Lease Finance Corp. in 1973 and sold it to AIG in 1990 for $1.3 billion, serving as chief executive of ILFC until his departure in 2010. He then started Air Lease Corp. and took it public in 2011. The company purchases new commercial aircraft through direct orders from manufacturers including Boeing and Airbus and leases them to its airline customers worldwide. As of March 31, it owned a fleet of 253 aircraft, managed 49 aircraft and had another 372 on order. It had total assets of about $15.9 billion. Udvar-Hazy transitioned to the role of executive chairman at the company in July 2016 after serving as its chief executive and chairman since its founding in 2010. He is an FAA Airline Transport Pilot and has more than 35 years of experience flying jet aircraft. He has received numerous honors, including the Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award, the Howard Hughes Memorial Award and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. He has donated $60 million to the National Air and Space Museum, which named its Virginia facility after him.