News — 2023

SMBC Aviation Capital wins IATA 25by2025 Virtual Datathon


Istanbul, Turkey, June 6th 2023: SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world’s leading aircraft leasing companies, today announces that the Company has won the 25by2025 virtual datathon, a joint initiative between the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) and Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). The datathon is part of the 25by2025 global initiative of which SMBC Aviation Capital is a signatory, which focuses on addressing the gender balance within the aviation industry.

The datathon was launched in March 2023 with the primary objective of accelerating the development of data-based solutions to gender diversity in aviation. Participants applied data science tools and techniques to generate insights and potential solutions to solve practical problems, with SMBC Aviation Capital addressing the following set challenge: Demonstrate to a CEO the impact of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion using data and / or new technologies.

For its entry, SMBC Aviation Capital’s hypothesis revolved around demonstrating that there is a positive impact on airlines’ ESG objectives when there is a higher percentage of female representation within senior management.

In order to test this, the SMBC Aviation Capital team developed a data-led model that analysed 20 airlines across 12 different countries, examining different metrics around financial and ESG performance. The results produced ESG scores from 1 to 5 (highest) based on data inputs including carbon emissions, carbon offsetting projects and other factors. The model, together with statistical analysis, found a positive correlation between the top tier airlines with higher gender balances at C-suite levels with their ESG score. This affirmed the hypothesis presented by SMBC Aviation Capital.

Part of SMBC Aviation Capital’s submission included a tangible solution to address the challenge of access to transparent data in the industry. The team proposed a sector-specific Aviation Gender Equality Index, a global index that would track the performance of companies within the aviation industry in promoting gender equality, through policy development and representation, to bring transparency, accountability, and standardization to the industry. This framework would include metrics such as gender pay gap, retention and talent pipeline, leadership, social impact and inclusive culture and gender balance in technical roles.

SMBC Aviation Capital’s datathon group was led by the core team of Camilla Palhares, Digital Enablement; Amy McInerney, Human Resources; and Sean Lucas, IT.

The group was supported by Oisin Donnelly, (The Nest Innovation Hub) Orla Benson (ESG), Russel D’Souza (Cyber Security), Zoha Mariam (Customer Operations).

David Swan, Chief Operations & Sustainability Officer at SMBC Aviation Capital, said: “SMBC Aviation Capital remains firmly committed to its ESG and gender diversity goals. I am delighted that our team were able to present thoughtful and practical solutions to the challenges we are collectively facing at the virtual datathon, demonstrating how our people are firmly committed to IATA’s 25by2025 mission. We look forward to championing industry-wide initiatives in the future, where we can foster innovation and dialogue to create a more inclusive, diverse and sustainable aviation industry.”

Jane Hoskisson, Director, Talent, Learning, Engagement and Diversity at IATA said: "The IATA & AWS diversity datathon is intended to further strengthen gender diversity in the industry, which complements the existing IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The IATA datathon’s judges were impressed with how the winning teams solution brought transparency and accountability to the industry, using data. We are delighted that SMBC Aviation Capital are the winners of our first Datathon and look forward to holding many more of these events in the future.”


For more information please contact:

Conor Irwin, SMBC Aviation Capital                    +353 87 3816106

Dara O’Sullivan, SMBC Aviation Capital             +353 86 021 0135

Ellen Sherry, SMBC Aviation Capital                   +353 86 782 5906         

Editor’s Notes

SMBC Aviation Capital established Mosaic, its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2019.  As the first aircraft leasing company which has signed up to the IATA 25 by 2025 initiative, SMBC Aviation Capital aims to increase female representation in senior teams by 25% by 2025 and has set ambitious objectives in this regard. 

About SMBC Aviation Capital  

Based in the IFSC in Dublin Ireland, SMBC Aviation Capital is the second largest aircraft operating lease company globally by number of aircraft, with an owned, managed and committed fleet of just under 900 aircraft. The company focuses on the most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and narrowbody aircraft types, providing customers across the globe with the aircraft they need to successfully grow their businesses.  Established in 2001, the company was acquired in 2012 by a consortium comprised of two of Japan’s biggest companies SMFG and Sumitomo Corporation.  For additional information, please visit SMBC Aviation Capital’s website at

About IATA 25 by 2025

25by2025 - a global initiative to change the gender balance within the aviation industry

25by2025 came to life to raise awareness of the need to improve female representation in the aviation industry. This voluntary initiative is an initial step to making the aviation industry more gender balanced. With a large number of airlines and industry partners already committing to 25by2025, IATA are paving the way for an industry that recognises female talent and creates opportunities for women in which they can thrive.

For further information please visit:


"We look forward to championing industry-wide initiatives in the future, where we can foster innovation and dialogue to create a more inclusive, diverse and sustainable aviation industry.”

David Swan, Chief Operations & Sustainability Officer at SMBC Aviation Capital

Media Enquiries:

Conor Irwin/Dara O’Sullivan
SMBC Aviation Capital

+353 1 859 9000


Charles O'Brien

+44 0 7825 043 656