Air Lease Corp set to order 737 Max this year

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Air Lease Corp could place a "substantial" order for the Boeing 737 Max this year, with the announcement potentially coming as early as the Farnborough air show in July.

The leasing company, which has placed provisional orders for 50 Airbus A320neos, is "negotiating with Boeing" on a deal for the US airframer's re-engined narrowbody, its chairman and chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy said on the sidelines of the ISTAT Asia conference in Singapore.

Udvar-Hazy did not say how many aircraft could be ordered. A decision is likely to be made this year and Udvar-Hazy hinted that a deal could be announced as soon as the Farnborough air show in July.

While Udvar-Hazy has been critical of the decision by Airbus and Boeing to re-engine their narrowbody fleets instead of going for a clean-sheet design, demand for the aircraft has led his leasing company to decide to place orders for the A320neo and potentially the 737 Max.

"For both aircraft, we are looking for a meaningful economic benefit in terms of operating costs. They must be a meaningful step change in terms of performance. Those are absolutely critical," added Udvar-Hazy.