SMBC agrees $3.7 billion deal for 25 Boeing 737 MAX jets

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Global leasing giant SMBC Aviation Capital said on Tuesday it had concluded an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in a deal worth more than $3.7 billion at current list prices that would support its growth plans and meet customer demand.

SMBC, the world’s second largest aircraft leasing firm, said the new planes are scheduled for delivery in 2028 and 2029 and will increase its orders of Boeing’s more fuel-efficient MAX jets to 81 aircraft.

“Our customers have demonstrated clear long-term demand for the 737 MAX and our expanded order pipeline positions SMBC Aviation Capital for future growth against the background of a strong global recovery in air travel,” SMBC CEO Peter Barrett said in a statement.

The Irish-based lessor, which is owned by a consortium including Japan’s Sumitomo Corp and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, currently owns or manages 65 MAX aircraft, out of a total portfolio of 711 planes.

Boeing said last week that it is set to meet targets to deliver at least 400 narrowbody 737s this year despite a recently discovered production flaw that has slowed deliveries of the best-selling 737 MAX.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Jason Neely)