Aircraft leasing firm’s $10bn deal to create world’s third-largest rental fleet

China’s HNA Group, controlled by the billionaire Chen Feng, has agreed to buy the aircraft-leasing business of CIT Group for US$10 billion in a deal that would create the world’s third-largest rental fleet.

HNA’s Avolon Holdings will expand its line-up to 910 aircraft valued at more than $43bn, including planes on order, the company said. The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first quarter after regulatory and shareholder approval.

 The purchase about doubles Avolon’s fleet and vaults it into the ranks of the top aircraft lessors. Founded in 2010, Avolon is betting on rising demand for global air travel and airlines’ desire to replace aging jets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where China is poised to become the biggest aviation market within two decades. The Dublin and Hong Kong-based company aims to overtake market leaders GE Capital Aviation Services, a unit of General Electric known as Gecas, and AerCap Holdings.
The deal doubles HNA’s more than $10bn of acquisitions already announced this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and expands its travel and leisure business spanning airports, airlines and hotels.

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Svilen Petrov
My name is Svilen Petrov and I’m founder and chief editor at Wings Journal. Wings Journal is an independent media, which provides you daily with the most interesting and actual news for air companies, airports, and aviation technologies.

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