HONG KONG -- Aircraft leasing company BOC Aviation, based in Singapore but owned by the Bank of China, has placed an order for 80 narrow-body 737 passenger jets from Boeing.
The 8.8 billion dollar order is the largest the company has ever placed. It includes 50 737 MAX 8 jets and 30 737-800 jets, to be delivered between 2016 and 2021. It also ordered two 777-300ER jets from Boeing.
The new arrivals will join the 43 A320 Airbus jets that BOC Aviation ordered in July.
The company is beefing up its fleet to meet the anticipated increase in demand for new fuel-efficient planes in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for 30% of global passenger traffic and where low-cost carriers are on the rise.
BOC Aviation is taking these steps amid an increasingly competitive aircraft leasing market in Asia. For example, Cheung Kong (Holdings), owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, announced that it considering buying planes from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services. And Avic Capital, a subsidiary of state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China, is in talks to acquire Irish aircraft leasing firm Avolon.