Bank of China Leasing Unit Said to Near Airbus, Boeing Jet Deals

BOC Aviation Pte, the Asian aircraft leasing company, wants to buy about 35 Airbus A320 aircraft and a larger number of competing Boeing Co. models, people familiar with the planned announcement said.

The order may be disclosed at the Farnborough Air Show that starts tomorrow, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks have not concluded. The deal will include a mix of A320 family aircraft with either existing or more fuel-efficient engines, said one of the people. BOC Aviation is also discussing some longer Boeing 777 models, another person said.

The A320neo has a list price of $102.8 million in the mid-sized version, giving the potential order a value of about $3.6 billion. The Boeing model costs $103.7 million in the mid-sized version. Customers typically get discounts. Spokesmen for Airbus and BOC said they won’t make public comments on deals ahead of an air show, and Boeing declined to comment.

BOC Aviation has ordered a total of 215 planes from Airbus over the years, almost entirely A320 series, and taken delivery of 142. Its portfolio of Boeing planes is far smaller, with 60 737 models that have all been delivered, and it’s been almost a decade since BOC made that purchase from Chicago-based Boeing.

As customers pack their portfolios with single-aisle planes, the work horses of the industry, leasing firms are keen to lock in delivery dates before the wait for planes extends too far out. Airbus has said delivery slots are booked for A320neo planes through 2019. Boeing’s 737 Max with new engines won’t enter service until late 2017.

Airbus plans to introduce the A320neo from late next year, with the version featuring Pratt & Whitney engines to enter service ahead of the rival offering being developed by a joint venture of General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA.

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