Coronavirus set to impact Chinese airlines’ first quarter profit -Aercap CEO

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FILE PHOTO: Aengus Kelly, CEO and Executive Director of AerCap attends the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The chief executive of one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors, Aercap (AER.N), expects the new coronavirus that has emerged from Wuhan, China to impact Chinese airlines’ profitability in the first quarter.

Aengus Kelly said the outbreak was hitting traffic in the Chinese New Year when travel and yields peak but that past examples of the SARS and Ebola viruses show that if contained successfully, the impact on traffic will not be long-term.

“There’s certainly going to be an impact on the profitability of Chinese airlines in the first quarter,” Kelly, whose customers include some of the world’s biggest airlines, told a conference in Dublin.

Reporting by Laurence Frost, writing by Padraic Halpin;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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