NEW YORK, April 9, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wings Club, recognized as the premier aviation club in the world, will honor Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, Chairman & CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), with the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation and aircraft leasing, the Award will be presented on October 24, 2008 at The Wings Club's 66th Annual Dinner to be held at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City. ILFC is the worldwide market leader in the leasing and remarketing of advanced technology commercial jet aircraft to airlines around the globe, with a portfolio valued at more than $52 billion, consisting of more than 1,000 jet aircraft. Mr. Udvar-Hazy was born in Budapest, Hungary and escaped with his family to Sweden in 1958. He then immigrated to the USA shortly thereafter. In 1966, while an undergraduate student at UCLA, Mr. Udvar-Hazy formed Airlines Systems Research Consultants, a firm specializing in airline routes, fleet and planning analysis. His first clients included Aer Lingus (Ireland), Mexicana and Air New Zealand. In 1973 he formed Interlease Group, Inc. which today is known as International Lease Finance Corporation, the largest customer of Airbus and Boeing. In 1977 Mr. Udvar-Hazy obtained FAA instrument, multi-engine and commercial pilot ratings, and in 1978 he graduated from American Airlines flight academy in Fort Worth, Texas, as a certified jet pilot. In 1980 he graduated from the Stanford University Graduate Business School, Airline Management course. He holds FAA Airline Transport Pilot license and has more than 8,000 hours flying time, including more than 7,000 hours in jets. He has type ratings in Gulfstreams, Learjets, Citations and presently is captain on the Gulfstream V. ILFC went public in 1983 with $220 million in assets and $8 million in profit. In 1990, International Lease Finance Corporation was acquired by American International Group, as a wholly owned subsidiary based in Los Angeles, California. Since the acquisition, ILFC has generated cumulative pre-tax profits exceeding $8.25 billion for AIG. Steve Hazy also serves on the Board of Directors of Skywest, Inc., and is on the Board of several foundations, educational institutions and corporations, and is the major donor for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Wings Club's Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented annually since 1975. Past recipients include Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Senator John Glenn, former President George H. W. Bush, Al Ueltschi as well as 12 present and former airline CEO's including Fred Smith, Bob Crandall, Herb Kelleher, Gordon Bethune, Sir Colin Marshall, and Sir Richard Branson. The Wings Club, founded in 1942, is the premiere aviation club in the world. Dedicated to preserve the history and traditions of aviation, the Club provides a forum for discussion and debate on aeronautical and aviation issues. The Wings Club serves nearly 1,200 members including industry leaders, pilots, professionals in related service organizations and students of aviation. Recognizing significant achievements that contribute to the advancement of aeronautical and aviation matters, The Wings Club recognizes and honors people throughout the year with the Distinguished Achievement Award and Distinguished Scholar Awards. The Club also hosts Aviation Leader Series Luncheons that feature keynote speeches by industry leaders. For more information on The Wings Club please call 212-867-1770, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.wingsclub.org.
SOURCE The Wings Club