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The aviation sector employs nearly 250,000 people in the UK and contributes in excess of £20 billion to the UK economy through tourism and commercial travel.  However, recent years have been epitomised by high profile business failures in the sector, with the collapse of Monarch in 2017 and the insolvency of Thomas Cook in September this year having huge repercussions for thousands of travellers as well as suppliers, lenders and regulators.

The sector continues to face difficulties, with rising fuel prices, higher rates of industrial action and environmental pressures combining with unseasonably hot weather and a slowdown in consumer spending, potentially linked to Brexit uncertainties. These challenges have contributed to the failure of 42 airlines since the beginning of 2018.

The failures of Thomas Cook and Monarch have caused the government to consider changes to UK legislation to give insolvency practitioners more powers following the insolvency of an airline.

So how are the aviation sector’s key stakeholders navigating through these headwinds?


Please join TMA North West & Manchester at their next event on 12th February 2020 kindly hosted by RSM. 



We are delighted to announce the speakers for the event:


  • Frank Ofonagoro, Director at Quantuma LLP. Frank has spoken extensively on the demise of Thomas Cook and distress in the aviation sector, appearing on Sky News and BBC News.
  • Joe Kelly, turnaround consultant and previously director at Birmingham Airport for 20 years. Joe will offer an Airport’s perspective on difficulties within the sector and how these challenges are being overcome.

About the speaker/s

Franklyn Ofonagoro

Franklyn Ofonagoro is a Director in Quantuma LLP’s North West team, delivering lead advisory and business restructuring mandates for SMEs.

He has over 20 years’ experience undertaking Financial and Operational restructuring advisory mandates for lenders, distressed / special situation funds, SMEs and FTSE 100s. Frank also has extensive financial due diligence experience and has previously led a market leading team of corporate simplification experts in the North West.

Some recent examples of Frank's client/case work include the overseeing of the accelerated pre-pack planning and sale of the business and assets of a long-standing Manchester based Engineering, Construction and Procurement company, to its Indian parent, resulting in the preservation of c.100 jobs. He led the independent business review of a global environmental services provider to the coal powered fire power station market. This engagement arose from an instruction by the client’s lender to review its business following a bridging finance request, prior to the successful sale of the group. 

He was part of a senior team that led the pre-pack administration rescue of a well- known London City law firm which resulted in the preservation of c.80 jobs. Frank’s role consisted of supporting the SPA discussions and negotiations as well as overseeing the administration appointment formalities. He led the trading administration of the Hartlepool trading division of a large Steel manufacturing Group, following its insolvency. Frank’s role involved overseeing the onsite administration trading and subsequent wind down of the business. 

Frank also led the preparation of a managed orderly wind down plan of a sizeable regional supplier to the supermarket sector on behalf of its shareholders as part of their exit planning.

Joe Kelly

With 40 years of financial and general management, 20 years were as a Director at Birmingham Airport. Airports are unusual businesses, at the core is a highly regulated port of entry which is then carefully surrounded by intense commercial activity. Joining first as Finance Director the role evolved to take on responsibility for its funding and development including the licensing and operation of the 140 very different companies working at the Airport.

More recently that experience has been used to help companies in turnaround situations as well as still providing a range of consulting services to a range of companies including the Airport Company.

Pro-bono roles include Governor and Deputy Chairman of Birmingham City University, Governor at Solihull College and a past President of the Chamber of Commerce.

Peter Manley

Peter's practice is in UK and cross border corporate insolvency, financial restructuring and recoveries.  He is experienced in advising funders, corporates and other stakeholders in managing and protecting their positions in challenging circumstances of exposure to financial distress.  He advises on contingency planning options and strategic and contentious enforcement and complex recoveries work and regularly advises clients in investigating and pursuing antecedent transactions claims. 


Peter has substantial experience in aviation and transport infrastructure having advised on mandates concerning financial distress and contingency planning and on the major aviation insolvencies in recent years.  Recent examples of Peter’s experience include acting for various stakeholders including airline service provides, two UK airports and a number of hotel and aviation supply chain businesses in relation to the impact of the Thomas Cook insolvency; advising a UK airport on the impact of the administration of Monarch Airlines, including with regard to exercise of detention rights under section 88 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 and in relation to the process implemented by the office-holders for the insolvent airline’s allocated landing slots; and providing advice on the operation of UK insolvency law in connection with a review of the current framework applicable to financial monitoring of airlines and the consequence of failure through financial distress.

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