Boeing confirms $4bn order from GE

People looking at a model of Boeing 737 plane Demand for more fuel efficient aircraft has been growing amid high fuel prices

General Electric's aircraft leasing and financing arm has confirmed that it has placed an order for 40 Boeing planes worth $4bn (£2.3bn) at list prices.

The order includes 20 737 MAX 8 planes and 20 next-generation 737-800 jets.

The order was booked last year, but so far had been attributed to an "unidentified customer" by Boeing.

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) said the new planes would help it meet growing demand for more fuel-efficient aircraft from its customers.

"Our airline customers require more fuel-efficient aircraft to compete in the marketplace," Norman CT Liu, chief executive of GECAS, said in a statement.

GECAS has now placed total orders for 95 units of 737 MAX 8 airplanes and 387 of the next-generation 737-800 jets making it the biggest buyer of the two models in the leasing industry.

Growing demand

A slowdown in global travel demand, coupled with high fuel prices, has hurt the profitability of many airlines across the globe in recent years.

As a result, airlines have been looking to keep their costs in check to try and sustain their profitability.

That has in turn caused a rise in demand for fuel-efficient aircraft.

The 100-200 seat narrow-body - or single-aisle - aircraft market is forecast to generate $20 trillion (£12.8tn) over the next 20 years.

The sector is currently dominated by Airbus's A320 and Boeing's 737 aircraft, but other firms are also looking to tap into the market.

Boeing has claimed that its next-generation 737's offer the "lowest operating costs in its class".

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