The Arena Aviation Capital Team shares a broad and longstanding expertise in aircraft investing, trading, financing and managing, as well as in transaction structuring and aircraft leasing portfolio development. Its members are well-positioned and focused to grow the company and become a significant market player in the near future.

For additional information feel free to get in touch with us.


Patrick den Elzen

Chief Executive Officer & Founding Partner
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Patrick den Elzen joined SGI Aviation as Special Advisor to the Board in 2013 to take responsibility for strategic development and to lead the Arena project. Until 2010, Patrick held the position of Chief Trading Officer at AerCap (ticker: AER), responsible for aircraft acquisitions, sales, and new orders. From 2005 onwards, Patrick served at the Executive Management committee of AerCap. He oversaw its development into a leading industry player with a portfolio growing from $2.5Bio in 2003 to $7Bio in 2010. Patrick was responsible for the buying, selling and ordering of $11Bio. worth of aircraft. Prior to joining AerCap, Patrick worked at IEM AirFinance (formerly ING Aviation Lease), being instrumental in the sale of the company to Abbey National in 2000. He started his career at ING Aviation Lease. Patrick holds an MBA majoring in International Finance and Business Administration of the University of Amsterdam.


Erik Dahmen

Chief Commercial Officer & Founding Partner

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Erik is a senior industry figure and one of the founders of the company. Apart from a massive network he brought with him 25 years of experience in the acquisition, financing, leasing and trading of commercial aircraft. Erik joined SGI Aviation as advisor in 2012 and was instrumental in the project that led to the creation of Arena. Until 2010 Erik was part of the management team of Waha Capital, then a listed big ticket leasing company in the United Arab Emirates. Erik started his leasing career as commercial director of Oasis Leasing in 2001, based in Abu Dhabi. At Oasis and later Waha he was responsible for building and managing the aircraft portfolio,  aircraft repossessions and placing aircraft on lease world-wide. In 2011 he was retained by Bahraini investment bank Gulf Finance House, to help set up a Sharia compliant leasing company. Prior to his leasing career Erik worked as a structured finance specialist, for banks in London and Amsterdam. Erik holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.


Diederik Lindhout

Chief Operating Officer & Founding Partner

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Prior to joining Arena, Diederik started his career in the aviation leasing in 2001 with debis AirFinance (now AerCap). After having spent almost 4 years within the Contracts Managing department where he was responsible for the day-to-day lease management relating to more than 30 lessees, he moved to the Portfolio Management and Trading department where he served as a VP, initially focusing on the trading out of AerCap’s older fleet of aircraft (Fokker 100, MD80 and B737 classics). In addition he dealt with the acquisition and sale of new aircraft and complex beneficial ownership transfers. During his 12 years tenure within AerCap, he also managed and was involved in the negotiation of the company’s forward orders with Airbus and Boeing (>130 aircraft) and the engine OEMs. Diederik holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Management, Economic and Law) from Hanzehogeschool Groningen.


Andreas Goericke

Chief Technical Officer
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Andreas joined Arena summer 2016 as Chief Technical Officer. Andreas has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, having started his aviation career in 1983 as aircraft mechanic apprentice. In 1990 he joined Lufthansa Technik where he was working in the area of aircraft maintenance and consulting qualified for the maintenance of various aircraft and engine types. After that, in 2002, Andreas joined DSF, an aircraft leasing subsidiary of a German bank and an arranger for closed-end real assets funds with focus on aircraft transactions, as an asset manager. He was appointed as DSF’s Technical Director in 2008. In that context, Andreas was responsible, inter alia, for the purchase, lease, sale, redelivery, repossession and maintenance oversight of a large number of aircraft. In his latest position he was the managing director of a subsidiary of DSF, DSF Flugzeug portfolio Gmbh, an owner of several 737 aircraft.


Ruth Martínez Abrego

VP Legal & Contracts
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Ruth joined Arena on November 2016 and before that has held several positions within the aviation industry for the last 12 years. Having started her career in different law firms and later on in the local Government, Ruth began in aviation when she joined Mexicana Airlines as part of the legal department where she was responsible for a fleet around 90 aircraft together with the low-cost airline partner Aerocaribe.  She moved to The Netherlands in 2006 and later on joined AerData as part of the back-office as a Contract Manager and later on continued developing in Mass-Lease as Lease Manager and Legal Affairs with a Portfolio on the Regional Aircraft sector.  Ruth has a Bachelor in law in Mexico City at Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) and has a Master in Science and Public Administration from Instituto Politecnico Nacional.


Selim Cherif

SVP Aircraft Investment & Portfolio Management

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Prior to join Arena,  Selim spent 10 years in the Aircraft Finance and Leasing industry, having started his career as Analyst with PK Air Finance in 2005 and then Calyon in 2006. After that, Selim worked for 7 years at MDT (UK) Ltd, first as Portfolio Manager before moving to a Marketing and Business Development role with a focus on the Regional Aircraft sector. From 2015, he continued developing his Leasing business experience as VP with Lighthouse Aviation.  Selim received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Reims Management School in 2007 and his Master in Project and Structured Finance from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in 2010.


Dirk-Jan Smit

Chief Financial Officer
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Dirk Jan joined Arena Aviation Capital BV June 2016 as Advisor and Project Manager. His target is to build and secure organizational governance and reporting and to initiate further funding initiatives. Dirk Jan started his career as assistant accountant at Price Waterhouse. After that he switched to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines where he worked for seven years. First as Head of Corporate Accounting and later as Audit Manager. Subsequently Dirk Jan joined NIB Capitals’ aviation finance team where he was responsible for sourcing, closing and syndicating aviation finance transactions. In 2000 Dirk Jan started as independent advisor and interim manager. Most of his clients were financial institutions and pension funds (PGGM, ING, Robeco KLM Pension fund).  He held interim positions like: Finance Director, Head of IT, Head of Internal Audit and Head of Risk Management. Dirk Jan is Supervisor at AkzoNobel Netherlands  pension fund. Dirk Jan holds a master in economics from Universiteit Groningen and became Register Accountant (Dutch CPA) at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.


Shoro Ryu

VP Business Development

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Shoro has extensive experience within the aviation industry having held several key positions throughout her career, and has developed a particular focus on the midlife and older aircraft sector. Currently, Shoro is the VP Business Development in Arena Aviation Capital, focusing on aircraft leasing deal origination, execution and end of lease assets remarketing. Prior to Arena, Shoro was Director of Business Development at Vallair Solutions, involved in structuring, origination of the aircraft part-out, passenger to freighter conversion projects. Shoro started her career at Marubeni Corporation Aerospace Department in Tokyo, Japan, focusing on the Japanese, and Asian aviation market.


Sohra Wijnen

Business support Officer
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Sohra joined Arena Aviation Capital B.V. January 2018 as Business Support Officer.

Her responsibilities are taking care of the office, support colleagues where ever needed and making sure the financial administration is up-to-date. Sohra started working straight after high school and developed her finance and accounting skills through experience and specific training. For the past 8 years, she has worked for an international Trust office in a similar support role with the accent on the financial administration.


Elise Bouvet

Legal & Contracts Manager

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Elise joined Arena Aviation Capital October 2017 as Contracts Manager. Before that, she worked for MTU Maintenance Lease Services B.V. where she became familiar with aircraft engine leasing and financing. Elise studied Business Law in Université Paris XI and holds a Master of Laws in Business and Company Law from Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Jelte de Jong

Asset & Contract Manager

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After having worked in multiple capacities in aviation operations for KLM Airlines, Jelte moved to Aerdata (Boeing subsidiary). At Aerdata, for 2,5 years, he worked mainly on the CMS product. This is Aerdatas’ aircraft leasing platform database. Jelte provided ad hoc consultancy and continuous back-office services to a host of leasing companies. Jelte joined Arena in November 2017 as Asset and Contract Manager. He holds a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and is a Bachelor graduate of the University of Amsterdam.


Tomas Kennes

Technical Asset Manager
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Tomas joined the Arena team November 2017 as Technical Asset Manager. During his 15 year career Tomas held several different positions within the regional aviation industry. In 2003 Tomas started as a production planner within Exel Technics a line and base maintenance provider, subsequently he joined the ACMI provider Denim Air and the airline VLM. Within these companies he worked on the planning and control and engineering departments, being responsible for day to day operations and long term control, for major components, both on budget and engineering level.

In 2010 Tomas joined Mass lease, a privately owned aircraft leasing company, as Technical Manager. In this role he was co-responsible for managing the technical aspects of the Mass fleet. He managed a number of maintenance visits, aircraft deliveries and so on. Tomas holds a Bachelor’s degree of Operational Aircraft Technology at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.


Dax Biesbrouck

Manager Portfolio Development
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Dax joined Arena Aviation Capital August 2017. It was agreed that whilst being part of the Arena team and work force from day 1, Dax would go through an intensive training program during his initial stint with the company, covering all different areas of Arena’s business. Prior to joining Arena, Dax completed a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, a Master of Science in Management at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and in addition the ISTAT University Program – a one year certificate program covering all facets of the aviation finance and leasing industry.


Fabian Horsch

Technical Asset Manager

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Fabian joined Arena in November 2018 as Technical Asset Manager. He started his career in aviation with aircraft engine manufacturer and MRO provider MTU in multiple capacities at their worldwide maintenance locations. In 2016 he started working for MTU’s engine leasing branch MTU Maintenance Lease Services B.V., located in Amsterdam, as Asset Manager where he managed and handled engine transactions from a technical and commercial standpoint. This included engine trading, engine part-out as well as repair management. Fabian holds a master’s degree in Business Administration & Engineering from Munich University of Applied Science.


Claire Bensahmoun

Reporting & Controlling Officer
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Claire joined Arena Aviation Capital in September 2019. After graduating from the Master of Aviation Finance at Smurfit Business School in Dublin in 2016, she started her career in Aircraft Leasing at SMBC Aviation Capital working both in the Credit Risk and Contract Management department. At Arena Aviation Capital, Claire is responsible for reporting on the Credit Risk of our lessees to our investor’s clients. She also manages the financial reporting to our shareholders, the monthly closing and invoicing processes. Claire also holds a master’s degree in Strategic and Financial Analysis and a bachelor’s degree in Management and Economics from Paris Descartes university.