Expert Insights: Valentin Ivanov

28 July 2020

Valentin Ivanov, VP Technical at Magnetic Leasing, has been part of quite a few major projects: from overseeing the back-to-life restorations to working on the aircraft delivery while caught in the midst of the recent pandemic, his experience in aviation is nothing short of exciting.

What would you call the biggest challenges in your line of work for the last few months and how have you – and your team – tackled these challenges?

The Biggest challenge for our team in our line of work during few past months has been definitely related to Magnetic Leasing project in Hanoi, Vietnam, taking delivery of two ex-Vietnam Airlines A321s.

After all the difficulties with getting back to our team home bases in Estonia and Lithuania – the biggest challenge on execution of an updated project scope was related to finding a way to relocate our two A321 aircraft from Hanoi to Magnetic MRO Tallinn base. This is not an easy task even under normal conditions, as distance between countries is around 7,500 km and pandemic context made this task close to falling under “mission impossible” category.

After all the struggles and complications on the way, it became possible to finally get both aircraft ferried and land safely in Tallinn. Truly a challenging endeavor for our team and looking now from the perspective, it is an accomplishment we will definitely remember. 

Execution of such complicated task would definitely not be possible without constant day-to-day 24/7 cooperation inside our team and also not feasible without cross-departmental cooperation between Magnetic Leasing and Magnetic MRO specialists and departments. Accomplishment of this task became possible thanks to mutual trust and respect among team members,  valuable personal inputs made on individual level by necessity to walk an extra mile on multiple occasions and steps. 

Working together can truly solve any problem!

What are your near future plans with Magnetic Leasing in terms of new projects, growth etc?

Our near future plans are focused on taking care of Magnetic Leasing current assets portfolio under management in current constantly changing airline market context: this is an on-going routine work of your team.

On the other hand, one of the major direct objectives currently is finding new home for our two A321 aircraft and the Magnetic Leasing team is currently actively working on this. 

Competition in current market environment is fierce among leasing companies and asset owners and in order to achieve positive result it is needed to think creatively staying open-minded and allowing seeing unconventional business solutions. This is what helps to stand out from the crowd and be differentiated. Our team is ready and positively “hungry” for opportunities to execute such vision.

At the same time, current state of the industry provides a fruitful ground for Magnetic Leasing to develop and grow as an asset owner and a leasing company and we are constantly monitoring the situation by looking into prospect projects and opportunities. It is an interesting and unique time to find oneself in and here small size of our team definably comes as an advantage, allowing flexible solutions and fast execution. 

From all the time spent at Magnetic MRO and Magnetic Leasing, what is your most memorable event or your best memory?

This is not an easy question for me to answer as by current date it has been almost 9 years for myself being part of Magnetic family and whole this period has been filled with memorable events.

I would like to use this opportunity and not limit myself with just one choice, but rather name five good memories I have from all the time spent at Magnetic MRO and Magnetic Leasing. Although this is not the top 5 by the listing, just equally memorable and important events in my aviation path, as my recent years’ experience involved plenty of work-related trips to other countries!

  • Delivery of two ex-Vietnam Airlines A321 aircraft in Hanoi, Vietnam – most recent memory of a Magnetic Leasing project carried out in exotic location, under influence of multiple challenging factors, including being caught in the midst of the pandemic;
  • MSN 1413 Magnetic MRO Engineering Project – Restoration back to life of ex-Monarch airlines A320 aircraft parked in the desert at Victorville, California, U.S.,
  • Estonian Air 4x Embraer E170 Re-Delivery Magnetic MRO Engineering project: this was a difficult project carried out in Cologne, German during the time EA filed for bankruptcy in 2015; for me, this was real in-field experience acting as on-site technical representative.
  • Technical oversight of first A320 family aircraft type teardown project carried out by Magnetic MRO – ex Metro Jet A321, MSN 787, accomplished in 2017. Fuselage of aircraft was later used for technical analysis and calculations required to develop A321 cargo conversion program protype. 
  •  Oversight of airframes Pre-Purchase Inspection of 4x Ex-Transaero Airlines B737NGs – a memorable MPTL project, carried out between locations in Teruel, Spain and Moscow, Russia