FARNBOROUGH: GECAS needs 737-800 slots

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GECAS based its tentative order for more current-generation Boeing 737s on continued airline demand for the narrowbody, it says.

It signed for 25 737-800s earlier today, along with 75 re-engined 737 Max 8s, which comes on top of an order two years ago for 40 of the type.

Chief executive officer Norman Liu says: "All of our 40 [737]NGs are now out and placed. The fleets are performing well at the moment and we wish we had more aircraft to place."

GECAS's current narrowbody orderbook is committed up to 2014 and according to Liu, the first 737-800 deliveries are scheduled for 2015. "We will take aircraft in 2015 and 2016, and maybe 2017," he says. Deliveries of its Max 8s will start in 2018.

Although it has initially chosen the mid-range -8 variant, GECAS has the option to switch orders to the larger -9.

GECAS and Boeing expect to firm the 100 aircraft commitment in the coming weeks.