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SMBC Aviation eyes opportunities as airlines come under stress

CEO expects to sign more leases for new planes as industry profits decline

SMBC Aviation Capital is investing in new fuel-efficient jets, with Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo models accounting for most of its outstanding orders.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Airline profitability is coming under pressure, opening up opportunities for aircraft leasing companies, according to SMBC Aviation Capital, the world's fourth-largest jet lessor.

"Fuel prices are higher, interest rates are higher, [exchanges rates] are more volatile," Peter Barrett, SMBC chief executive, told the Nikkei Asian Review in a recent interview. "Airlines are going to be less profitable probably and going to face some challenges ... But I think we are very well-positioned to both manage the challenges that might come and also take advantage of any opportunities that [this] will bring up."

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