AerCap Holdings NV, the world’s largest aircraft leasing firm, is “very optimistic” people will travel in large numbers once borders open up and believes that will apply equally to Southeast Asia, which is currently lagging the rest of the world, according to Chief Executive Officer Gus Kelly.
China, which is still adhering to a Covid-zero policy, is vital for tourism in Southeast Asia, Kelly said, noting that markets like Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines won’t be able to bounce back until residents in the world’s second-largest economy are free to travel internationally again.
He added that China’s domestic market has over the course of Covid been “extremely strong” and said he expects Boeing Co.’s 737 Max to return to commercial service this year.
Asked whether Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, the nation’s home-grown jet manufacturer also known as Comac, will ever be able to compete with Boeing and Airbus SE on a global scale with a family of aircraft types, Kelly said it was possible, but would take a very long time.
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