GECAS to place an order?

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GECAS is in talks with Boeing to buy 40 to 50 737 Next Generation aircraft, according to media reports.

In December, GE Commercial Aviation Services announced a 55-aircraft order, which  includes 53 737-800s and two Boeing 777-300ERs. The order, valued at approximately $4.5 billion at list prices, includes an exercise of existing options.

At an industry event earlier this month, Ian Gurekian, VP, product evaluation and strategy, GECAS, presented a cautious forecast of market trends even as Boeing and Airbus continue to amass new aircraft orders at record levels.

The forecast shows capacity growth in the air transport sector may start to outpace market demand this year if current trends continue.

“We believe we are starting to see a gap developing between the supply of seats … and the demand for seats,” said Gurekian.

Global capacity growth is expected to range from 5.1% to 6.8% over the next five years, averaging 5.8% average annual growth, he said.

Traffic growth must continue to grow at a pace of 6% to 7% in order to justify the current rate of demand for new airline orders.

But new economic trends show a potential downward trend in the near future, especially in the US market. Even a 1% drop in air traffic demand in the US would wipe out double-digit growth in the world’s developing markets, such as India, Gurekian added.

In December, AWAS placed orders for 31 firm and 19 purchase rights for Boeing 737 aircraft. The estimated list value of the deal totalled $2.3 billion.

In addition, Babcock & Brown Air also ordered 20 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, in a contract valued at $1.5 billion. The lessor also announced plans to acquire seven aircraft on lease.