Second only to the weather, travel woes are the friendliest form of small-talk. Unexpected delays, airport congestion, and shrinking seat size are universally relatable for air travelers. However, it may come as a surprise that many aircraft are leased and not owned by the operating airline. In fact, a small group of organizations purchase, maintain, and lease aircraft to airlines. These aviation finance firms provide an interesting case study of compensation programs, reflecting the realities and forces that shape a specialty finance sector. The following article discusses the unique demands placed on executive management teams in aviation finance, why it is challenging to recruit and retain these individuals, and considerations for setting an effective pay strategy.