Chinese banks such as Bank of China and ICBC have focused on working directly in their fast-growing domestic airline market, though the former has a Singapore-based international leasing arm. Heinemann believes China will take a "significant role" in the global market, highlighting possible initial forays into South Korea, Japan or India. The credit freeze also has held up the sale of several large aircraft leasing businesses, including the ILFC unit of American International Group Inc. (AIG) and CIT Group's (CIT) transport arm. "A number of private equity investors have been sniffing around," and are likely to make deals as the debt market thaws in coming months, Heinemann said. "The leasing businesses are strong, it's just a matter of getting the financing." AerCap, which recently agreed to merge with competitor Genesis Lease, has a full plate for the next 12 months, expecting to take delivery on $2 billion of new aircraft, which will expand its fleet by 20%. But Heinemann said "that doesn't mean we're not looking over our shoulder" for other acquisition opportunities.