C. Jeffrey (Jeff) Knittel is the Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc., responsible for Airbus’ commercial aircraft business throughout the Americas, as well as for providing leadership for the company’s helicopters and space and defense businesses in North America. With more than 5,000 employees, Airbus Americas is the U.S.-based operation of Airbus, encompassing the regional corporate offices, engineering centers, training facilities, MROs and spare parts distribution centers, as well as manufacturing facilities producing commercial aircraft, helicopters and satellites.
Knittel has more than 35 years of experience in aerospace and transportation finance. Before joining Airbus, Knittel had been Chief Executive Officer of C2 Aviation Capital (C2), a leasing company focused on acquiring, leasing and managing commercial aircraft around the world. Prior to leading C2 Aviation Capital, Mr. Knittel served since 1986 in a series of senior leadership positions at CIT Group Inc. – most recently as President of CIT Transportation Finance, a $21 billion diversified organization that provided leasing and financing solutions for the aerospace, rail and maritime industries, including commercial airlines, business aircraft operators, railroads and shippers.
From 1982 to 1986, Knittel held various senior management positions with Manufacturers Hanover Leasing Corporation. He began his career with the Cessna Finance Company.
Mr. Knittel is a trustee of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, a member of the Board of the USO of Metropolitan New York, and a member emeritus of the Board of Governors of the Wings Club. Previously, he also served as president of the Board of Directors of Just One Break (a not-for-profit institution for the disabled founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, later merged with The Viscardi Center) and as a member of the Board of Trustees at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Mr. Knittel holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In addition, he graduated from the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.