The eyes of the aviation finance world are on Dublin this week, as the city hosts two of the largest annual conferences in the industry.

The events, to be hosted by Airline Economics and Airfinance Journal, get under way today and run until Thursday at the Shelbourne Hotel and Convention Centre.

Attendance at these conferences has increased by 300% since 2013 up from 1,880 to 5,571 in 2018, with international delegates making the greatest economic contribution and the Dublin conferences continue to be the largest in the world - over 70% greater than the nearest competitor.    

Fáilte Ireland estimates that each international delegate attending a conference in Ireland is worth approximately €1,600 to the Irish economy.

And financial services firm PwC has put together some research indicating these conferences are worth up to €9 million to the Irish economy.

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Aviation Finance Leader with PwC Yvonne Thompson said the conferences will result in about 5,600 people coming to Dublin.

Ms Thompson said: "In 2018 the economic contribution generated by all of these delegates, we estimate is in the region of $6.9 million, and this figure accounts for average expenditure on a wide range of services, so accommodation, food & drink, entertainment, transport, etc.

"When you look at the spend incurred by the two conference organisers to host the events - and then also look at the spend that takes place through Irish-based companies and the delegates from Ireland who attend - we estimate that the value is in the region of about $10 million."

"By all accounts 2019 looks to be heading in the same direction," she added.

Perhaps a legacy of the late Tony Ryan, but Ireland is now responsible for half of the world's aircraft leasing and finance business.

With 50 aircraft leasing companies based in the country, the industry employs approximately 5,000 people both directly and indirectly and contributes €580m to the economy annually.

In addition, over 60% of the global leased fleet are managed from Ireland.

The PwC Aviation Finance Leader said Ireland and aviation have always had a "very special" relationship.

"The leasing was born here really in the era of GPA (Guinness Peat Aviation) over 40 years ago and if we think about why Ireland is successful now, there are probably three key factors that we think about.

"You've got a real industry cluster that's based here as a result of GPA and the spin-offs that have come out of that company ... a very strong workforce ... and support of Government."

GPA was a commercial aircraft sales and leasing company set up in 1975 by Aer Lingus together with the Guinness Peat Group and then-Aer Lingus executive Tony Ryan.

Ms Thompson also pointed to the low rate of corporation tax in Ireland as being a factor as well as "the capital write-offs that benefit assets such as aircraft - which have a very long economical life - are very important".

While she says Ireland's "very extensive double-tax treaty network" is "second to none" and helps the country to differentiate itself from its competitors in the aviation finance space.

PwC research suggests the sector is set for further significant growth up to 2021.

Speaking last night in Dublin, IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said he doesn't see Brexit affecting air travel across Europe. 

On the potential effect of Brexit on the aviation finance industry, Ms Thompson said the "positive noises" from people in the industry has been really supportive in terms of ensuring if we do see a hard Brexit that we won't have an issue.

However, she added there are other relevant issues brought about by Brexit that could affect aviation - such as "the supply-chain effect" and also the knock-on effect on customs considerations.