GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing unit of GE, is delivering a total of 20 new leased aircraft to airline customers in China during 2011, expanding its position as a leading aircraft lessor and financier with US$7 billion invested in China.
The announcement coincides with GECAS executive Li Liu speaking on the topic "Facilitating the Transformation of Civil Aviation" at the 2011 China Civil Aviation Forum May 11-12 in Beijing.
In 2011, GECAS is scheduled to deliver 11 new Boeing 737s, two new Boeing 777Fs, and seven new Airbus A320s to airline customers, increasing its leased portfolio in China 10 percent. Already this year, GECAS has delivered aircraft to China Eastern Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Spring Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines.
"Passenger traffic in China is forecasted to grow an average of 12 percent in the next five years, and as a result, Chinese carriers will continue to expand and modernize their fleets," said Li Liu, GECAS executive vice president and head of operations in China. "We believe demand will outstrip the new order supply over the next several years and our experience and variety of aircraft types in our portfolio - from regional jets to cargo aircraft - positions us well in the years ahead."
Liu added: "In addition to being a leading aircraft lessor and financier, we have become a true partner to China's aviation industry as the first lessor of the new C919 aircraft." In November, 2010, GECAS announced plans for five firm orders and five options on the COMAC C919
Also in 2010, GECAS sold a portfolio of aircraft valued at US$1.7 billion to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank and China Merchants Bank, strengthening its business relationships and partnerships with the leading Chinese banks.
GECAS was the first aircraft lessor in China in 1988. Since then, it has delivered more than 300 aircraft to Chinese carriers. It currently leases 204 aircraft to 21 airline customers from offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Commenting on the general state of the leasing industry in China, Liu observed, "Leasing in China is growing more competitive with the country building its own base of lessors. Partnerships like those we've developed over the years have therefore become even more important."
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