ILFC warns India: Aeroplane repossession row could scare off funds
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Indian airlines will need 1,043 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $145 billion by 2030 to satisfy surging annual demand, Airbus said last year.
ILFC's warning came as India's civil aviation minister said Kingfisher needed at least 10 billion rupees ($185.65 million) to restart its grounded operations and must also demonstrate an ability to sustain itself for at least 6 months.
A senior government source said India was willing to support a rescue plan from Kingfisher if it could settle months of salary owed to frustrated employees.
ILFC, or International Lease Finance Corp, has itself rebounded since its seeing funds squeezed by the credit crisis, and is in the midst of being sold to a Chinese consortium.
The lessor said it had broadened funding sources and reduced their cost in 2012, and had $2.9 billion in unrestricted cash.
Speaking in Dubin on the sidelines of an Airline Economics conference, Courpron said he expected the sale of a majority of ILFC by its owner, U.S. insurer AIG, to go ahead as planned in the second quarter. AIG has deemed the unit non-core.
Despite woes in India, where many private airlines complain of high taxes and subsidies to state carrier Air India, Courpron said growing the rise of disposable incomes, especially China, would continue to drive investment in new aircaft in Asia.
He also predicted more appetite for aircraft in the United States, the world's largest aviation market which until two years ago was remarkably quiet in ordering new capacity as airlines there went through restructuring and conserved cash.
"There is still a good activity in the U.S. for replacement of older aircraft," Courpron said.
However, he warned Airbus and Boeing not to over-sell aircraft purely in order to win every battle in their fierce annual duel for orders worth a combined $100 billion.
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