TUI Group has carried out a sale-and-leaseback of five Boeing 737 Max jets with the Singaporean-based lessor BOC Aviation.

The European holiday company values the agreement – reached with UK subsidiary TUI Travel Aviation Finance – at $226 million.

TUI Group is expecting the first of the Max 8s involved in the deal to be delivered in the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, which commences on 1 October 2020.

The remaining four aircraft would be delivered “ahead of the summer 2021 season”, it adds.

TUI Group says the agreement with BOC Aviation to finance the five aircraft is in line with the holiday company’s “asset-right strategy”. Sale-and-leaseback was among the measures recently disclosed by TUI to enhance liquidity.

The company – which has had to cope with the grounding of its current Max fleet – stated in June that it was revising the delivery schedule for 61 Max jets it then had on order, aiming to take fewer than half of its previously-planned deliveries of the aircraft over the next two years.

“We expect further sale-and-leaseback financing on our future deliveries beyond [fiscal 2020-21], in line with our newly-agreed deferred re-fleeting programme with Boeing,” it says.

BOC Aviation recently cancelled part of its own order for the 737 Max, after agreeing sale-and-leaseback deals for the type with other operators including Southwest Airlines, for 10 Max 8s, and United Airlines for 16 Max 9s.

BOC Aviation’s portfolio of 571 aircraft at the end of June included 16 737 Max owned by the lessor with a further 73 on order.

TUI Group says it expects the lifetime lease obligation established by the deal with BOC Aviation to total €223 million ($262 million).