Dubai-based aircraft lessor Novus Aviation Capital is looking towards east Asia for opportunities amid an ambitious global expansion plan, according to managing director Mounir Kuzbari.
Novus leased and acquired between $700 and $800 million worth of aircraft in the last 18 months. It sold approximately the same number of aircraft, keeping its average size at about $4 billion.
Over the next few years, however, the firm plans to accelerate growth and more than double its portfolio, reaching about 150 aircraft under management worth $10 billion.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Novus managing director Mounir Kuzbari said that while the company is active around the world, it is particularly excited about the prospects of East Asia.
“We’re really looking at where the growth is,” he said. “If you look at the growing middle class, the emergence of low-cost models and the de-regulation of the industry, clearly Asia-Pacific [is attractive].”
Aside from China – where a trillion dollars worth of aircraft orders are expected in the next 20 years – and India, which by 2024 is expected to be the world’s third largest aviation market, Kuzbari said that Novus is looking at other emerging markets in the region.
“We’re very bullish on Vietnam. The demographics are very interesting and it’s still an untapped market with a population of 100 million plus,” he said.
Additionally, Kuzbari said that the firm is seeking additional opportunities in the Philippines, where last year Novus announced a debt financing agreement with Philippine Airlines (PAL).
“The other one that is interesting but a bit more challenging is Indonesia,” Kuzbari added. “It’s scattered with thousands of islands. There’s no alternative way to get around other than air travel, and that’s very interesting.”
“There’s two very strong airlines, the national carrier, Garuda, and Lion Air, which obviously had some issues but is getting better and better,” he added. “That’s a market we’re watching very closely.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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