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AerCap expects further consolidation in air leasing sector

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: An airplane prepares to land at Cointrin airport in Geneva
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LONDON (Reuters) - AerCap expects further consolidation in the global aircraft leasing sector after its takeover of General Electric's leasing business, a senior executive said on Monday.

The combination of the world's two largest aircraft leasing companies, which will rank as the largest buyer of airliners built by Airbus and Boeing, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Asked if he expected further consolidation in the industry, which helps finance $150 billion of aircraft every year, Chief Commercial Officer Peter Anderson said: "I do ... and frankly it would be welcome. There is enough room in this industry for several large players."

"We welcome some discipline, rational competition in the market," he added, speaking to the Airline Economics conference in London.

"There are some great platforms out there. Who buys who is a completely different question which I don't know the answer to."

The aircraft leasing sector finances 50-60% of all new passenger aircraft deliveries, its highest ever level, Anderson said.

He said Airbus and Boeing may become more cautious about how many planes they sell to smaller players since some lessors delayed deliveries during the COVID-19 crisis.

They "are going to be a little more conservative with the lessors in terms of who they sell to and how big they sell," Anderson said.

AerCap is facing a mixed recovery in the airline sector, Anderson said.

"It's not a constant recovery. It's going to be rocky for a while," he said, pointing to Southeast Asia as a laggard.

But he said a strengthening of the sector meant that the "window was closing" for airlines to get the kind of concessions that were offered in recent months to help struggling carriers stay afloat.

There is not likely to be any lasting impact in lease rates due to COVID-19, he said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by David Evans and Cynthia Osterman)