AerCap says Brexit will not impact its aircraft leasing

TOULOUSE, France, June 29 (Reuters) - Aircraft leasing giant AerCap is not worried about the impact on its business of Britain voting to leave the European Union because it and other leasing companies can move airplanes around in times of crisis, a senior executive said.

“I think it is too early for us or anyone else to opine on how Brexit is going to play out,” Philip Scruggs, AerCap’s president and chief operating officer, told Reuters.

“But I can tell you that the aircraft leasing business is set up to deal with temporary issues in geographic areas whether it is Russia or Brazil or UK or Europe. North America was slow for 10 years and then it has been on fire the last three years.

“So it won’t affect us because that is our business, to move airplanes around in times of crisis. And frankly our customer base in the UK is a pretty strong customer base. I am not worried.”

Scruggs said the company did not expect Brexit to affect AerCap’s financials negatively. “The UK for us represents less than 5 percent of revenues,” he said.

Scruggs was speaking after Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of a new Airbus A350, the first European long-haul plane to be added recently to the fleet of the airline, which traditionally operates Boeing jets.

The aircraft is on lease from Dutch-registered AerCap.

AerCap shares rose 3 percent on Wednesday. (Reporting by Aaron Maasho, Writing by Tim Hepher. Editing by Jane Merriman)