Boeing won an order for 20 737-800 planes valued at as much as $1.39 billion from Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise, the leasing arm of Singapore Airlines.

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Boeing won an order for 20 737-800 planes valued at as much as $1.39 billion from Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise, the leasing arm of Singapore Airlines.

The order includes an option to buy 20 more planes, Singapore Aircraft said in a statement yesterday.

The value is based on list prices and doesn’t include discounts Boeing often provides.

It is the first aircraft order in more than five years for the leasing company, which is benefiting from a rebound in travel demand and expanding airline fleets. It is also Singapore Aircraft’s first direct purchase from Boeing in 10 years.

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About two-thirds of its current fleet is Airbus planes.

“The addition of the aircraft to our portfolio will enable Singapore Aircraft Leasing to reach a wider range of airline customers and significantly develop our global business,” Chief Executive Robert Martin said in the statement.

Passenger traffic in the region is forecast to grow an average 6.1 percent each year until 2023, compared with a global average of 5.2 percent, according to Boeing.

The recovery in global tourism, economic growth led by China and the emergence of low-cost carriers such as Malaysia’s AirAsia and Singapore’s Tiger Airways have encouraged more people to fly.

The Renton-made planes will be delivered between the fourth quarter of 2006 and the end of 2009.

The 20 options include 737-700 and 737-900 models.

Singapore Aircraft Leasing has a fleet of 40 Airbus planes and 21 Boeing aircraft, including 12 737s.

It has 11 Airbus A320 planes on order.

Singapore Aircraft Leasing customers include Australia’s Qantas Airways, Finnair, Britain’s easyJet, Malaysia Airline System and 26 other airlines worldwide.

Boeing, Lockheed to vie for launches

Boeing and Lockheed Martin will compete later this year for as many as 24 rocket launches to boost spy, weather and communications satellites into orbit, acting Air Force Secretary Peter Teets said yesterday.

The competition has been on hold for 19 months after three Boeing space units were suspended for ethics violations. Those suspensions were lifted March 4, allowing the Air Force to craft its acquisition strategy.

Final solicitations will be released this year and awards will take place some time in 2006, Teets said.

“The buy will be probably somewhere 18 to 24,” he said.

The Air Force wants a “limited competition” to get the lowest possible price per launch, but will ensure Boeing and Lockheed Martin essentially share the work, Teets said.

Sales at Chicago-based Boeing’s launch and orbital-systems business were 6 percent of last year’s total sales of $51.5 billion. Bloomberg News