The aircraft leasing arm of Bank of China said it has taken advantage of the economic downturn to expand its fleet, the South China Morning Post reported. BOC Aviation chief executive Robert Martin said the company had bought 40 planes since December, and had plans to invest US$10 billion in aircraft by 2012 to increase its fleet size to 196 from the current 96. Martin said the company would pursue further purchases in the third quarter, when an expected fall in industry demand would lead to opportunities for "bargain shopping." Most of BOC Aviation’s leasing assets are in the US and Europe. China accounts for just 1% of leasing assets at present.
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