THE wheel has come full circle on the double for the McMahon family and their involvement with Shannon aviation that stretches back to the pioneering days of the 1940s.
When the takeover of a Shannon Free Zone-based venture went through last week, John McMahon had career involvement at both ends of the deal, which was valued at $1.75billion.
A former high-level officer with Aer Lingus and Guinness Peat Aviation, Mr McMahon was the founding chief executive of Genesis Lease, which was taken over by Amsterdam-based AerCap. But AerCap was formerly known as debis AirFinance, based at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands capital, and Mr McMahon was a member of the team that set up that very company.
There he was senior vice-president in charge of commercial and business development before setting up Genesis Lease in an arrangement with GECAS, the General Electric subsidiary that took over Guinness Peat Aviation and its operations at Shannon in the early 1990s.
Before the Amsterdam venture, Mr McMahon had been vice-president with responsibility for capital markets with GE Capital Aviation and as GPA’s director in Japan for six years. In the earlier part of his career he served as fleet planning manager, route planning superintendent and operations research analyst with Aer Lingus.
Mr McMahon added to his primary degree in engineering with post-graduate qualifications in accounting and finance from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, as well as in management and computer modeling from Trinity College, Dublin. He also participated in the advanced management programme at Harvard Business School in Boston, USA.
Under the takeover of Shannon-based Genesis Lease, AerCap acquired 55 aircraft to bring its fleet to 358 airlines and 83 engines worth $6bn.
Mr McMahon’s father is John McMahon from O’Callaghan’s Mills, who started his Shannon Airport career on the bar staff at the Camp Bar, which was the focal point of the complex of chalets where airline crews and passengers, as well as airport staff on round-the-clock working shifts were accommodated. Mr McMahon joined Brendan O’Regan’s sales and catering service team in 1947 and served in the liquor department until his retirement in 1985.
Living at Elm Park on the Ennis Road in Limerick, John McMahon and his wife Margaret have a second son, Brian, involved in aviation. He is a pilot with Aer Lingus.