GE Capital Aviation Service (GECAS) has placed an order with Boeing for 75 of its LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX8 aircraft and 25 CFM56-7B-powered Next-Generation 737-800s at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow this week in the UK.
The commercial aircraft leasing and financing division of General Electric said that the aircraft order has yet to be finalised, following which the airplanes will be placed as firm orders on Boeing list.
As part of the contract, GECAS intends to place $1.9bn order for LEAP-1B engines for the 737 MAX and $500m order to expand its next-generation fleet in the 737 line.
GECAS president and CEO Norman Liu said that the 737 MAX was a complement to the company's aircraft portfolio.
"These new Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX airplanes will continue our long-standing strategy of providing our customers the most fuel efficient, most capable airplanes with the lowest operating costs," Liu said.
According to CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture between Snecma (Safran group) and GE, the LEAP-1B engine is the exclusive power plant for the new 737 aeroplanes since 1981 and is claimed to deliver enhanced efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort.
The new LEAP-1B engine powered 737 MAX, which is a new-engine variant of the Next-Generation 737 aircraft, is scheduled to be delivered in 2017, while the 737-800 is already in operation.
Boeing said that the 737 MAX aircraft would offer 13% enhanced fuel efficiency over its competitors in addition to an 8% operating cost per seat advantage.
The US-based plane manufacturer has received orders and commitments for 1,000 737 MAX aircraft, in addition to 6,600 orders for its Next-Generation 737 line to date.
Image: A Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in GECAS livery. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.