C. Jeffrey (Jeff) Knittel is the Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, Inc. In addition, he is the Head of Region for the Americas. He is responsible for Airbus’ commercial aircraft and commercial services businesses throughout the Americas, as well as providing leadership to Airbus Helicopters which is the company’s market-leading helicopter business, and Airbus US Space & Defense. With thousands of employees, Airbus Americas encompasses regional corporate offices, engineering and innovation centers, training facilities, MROs, spare parts distribution centers, imagery drone services, and large-scale manufacturing facilities producing commercial aircraft, helicopters, and satellites.
Additionally, Mr. Knittel chairs A3 by Airbus, the company’s Silicon Valley-based innovation arm; is a board member of Airbus Ventures, which invests in early-stage technologies across the globe; and is a member of the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership Board – a multibillion- dollar joint venture between Airbus and the Province of Quebec to procure parts, assemble and market the world’s most modern commercial aircraft, the A220.
Mr. Knittel has more than 35 years of experience in aerospace and transportation finance. Before joining Airbus, Mr. Knittel was Chief Executive Officer of C2 Aviation Capital, a global organization focused on acquiring, leasing, and managing commercial aircraft. Prior to leading C2 Aviation Capital, he served in increasingly senior leadership positions at CIT Group Inc. His final position there was President of CIT Transportation Finance, a $21 billion diversified organization that provided leasing and financing solutions for the aerospace, rail, and maritime industries. Clients included commercial airlines, business aircraft operators, railroads, and shippers.
Mr. Knittel is currently the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Nominations Committee of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, on the Board of Governors of the USO, on the Board of Trustees of the National WWII Museum, and a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. He is a former President and emeritus member of the Board of Governors of the Wings Club. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Just One Break, a not-for-profit institution for the disabled, founded by Eleanor Roosevelt and later merged with The Viscardi Center.
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.