Air Lease orders more 787 Dreamliners

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:49pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Aircraft lessor Air Lease Corp (AL.N: Quote) said on Monday it had ordered eight new Boeing (BA.N: Quote) 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft worth $1.8 billion at list prices for lease to Vietnam Airlines.

Deliveries of Boeing's new lightweight carbon-composite aircraft are scheduled for 2017 and 2018, the Los Angeles-based company said in a statement.

Air Lease Corp had already placed an order for four 787-9s in December last year, according to the Boeing website.

The company was founded in 2010 by Steven Udvar-Hazy, widely considered the pioneer of modern aircraft leasing.

Udvar-Hazy co-founded International Lease Finance Corp in 1973, later sold it to U.S. insurer AIG (AIG.N: Quote) and resigned to run his current company in February 2010.

Air Lease announced the 787 order shortly after it also emerged as a previously unidentified buyer for Boeing's latest model, a revamped medium-haul jet called the 737 MAX.

The deal is expected to involve 60 of the fuel-efficient jets and is worth some $6 billion at list prices. It is already included in a Boeing list of commitments that still must be converted to firm orders, according to the two sources who asked not to be named because negotiations remain confidential.

The MAX, which will feature new fuel-efficient engines when it comes to market in 2017, competes with the upcoming Airbus EAD.PA A320neo, which also will have new engines.

Neither Air Lease nor Boeing (BA.N: Quote) would comment on the 737 MAX order.   Continued...

The first 787 Dreamliner passenger jet to be assembled at Boeing's South Carolina facility is rolled out during a ceremony in North Charleston, April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mary Ann Chastain