China’s HNA Group, controlled by billionaire Chen Feng, agreed to buy the aircraft-leasing business of CIT Group for $10 billion in a deal that would create the world’s third-largest rental fleet, Bloomberg reports. HNA’s Avolon Holdings will expand its lineup to 910 aircraft valued at more than $43 billion, including planes on order, the company said Thursday in a statement. The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first quarter after regulatory and shareholder approval. The purchase roughly doubles Avolon’s fleet and vaults it into the ranks of the top aircraft lessors. Founded in 2010, Avolon is betting on rising demand for global air travel and airlines’ desire to replace aging jets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where China is poised to become the biggest aviation market within two decades.
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