Singapore-based leasing firm BOC Aviation orders 22 B737s

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Singapore-based aircraft leasing firm BOC Aviation said Tuesday it has ordered 22 Boeing 737 planes worth US$2.27 billion (S$3.21 billion) at catalogue prices.

The company, owned by the Bank of China, said it placed the orders for 11 next-generation 737-800 planes and 11 737 MAX 8 aircraft to "fulfil customer demand".

"This order demonstrates our continued confidence in the next generation 737 aircraft for its proven high performance, reliability and asset value," Robert Martin, managing director and chief executive of BOC Aviation, said in a statement.

"The next generation 737 economics are very attractive to our customers. With the 737 MAX, we are investing in new technology aircraft to meet our customers' long-term fleet planning requirements."

BOC Aviation is a key customer for US-based Boeing.

"BOC Aviation has played an important role in the success of the 737 program and we're delighted they have again put their confidence in Boeing and the 737 family," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president for Asia Pacific and India Sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"This new order, on top of the 2014 order for 80 737s, is proof of BOC Aviation's leading position in the leasing market, providing its customers with the most reliable and fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes."

The single-aisle 737 is a popular choice among low-cost carriers along with the A320 family of rival European aircraft-maker Airbus.

BOC Aviation says it has a portfolio of 253 owned and managed aircraft operated by 59 airlines worldwide.