TurnbullÆs "extensive experience" and professional network complement SeaburyÆs team of industry leaders, says Seabury Group's president and CEO, John E. Luth. However, his knowledge of the aviation industry in Asia will be put to work building Seabury AsiaÆs business.
In the US, Seabury Group is a major force in airline finance arrangements. The group arranged $750 million in financing for Northwest Airlines during its 2007 bankruptcy and $2.2 billion for the 2005 America West Airlines-US Airways merger. But it will take time for Seabury to establish itself in Asia. As Turnbull puts it: ôItÆs a different world Asia. It takes time to make your mark in Asia, it takes time for people in Asia to know who you are and what you are.ö
ôSeabury is the only pure aviation consultancy around the world,ö he adds. ôI mean, there are other big consultancies but theyÆre not just aviation whereas weÆre just aviation.ö
Seabury Asia also faces a difficult economic climate for its advisory services. ôWeÆve been talking about opening a Hong Kong office for about a year,ö notes Turnbull. ôIt just so happens that it's come about at the same time as things have fallen apart in the world.ö
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Asia-Pacific airline passenger traffic declined 6.8% in September. Global airline passenger traffic fell 2.9% in the same month.
Seabury AsiaÆs office in Hong Kong is already operational but will not officially open until January. The opening comes just months after Seabury Group established a London office in yet another sign of its drive to expand globally.
Turnbull was CEO of Cathay Pacific from 1998 to 2005 and then chairman of the board from 2005 to 2006. He left to become chairman of Swire Pacific, which is one of the principal owners of the Hong Kong-based airline. He has also served as chairman of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (1995-2006) and as a non-executive director of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Hysan Development and Air China.
He is currently executive chairman of Hong Kong-listed bulk shipping firm Pacific Basin Shipping, a position will retain as he joins Seabury Asia.