Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise said today that it intends to order 20 of Boeing Co.'s narrow-body 737s, with the option to purchase 20 more.

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SEATTLE — Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise said today that it intends to order 20 of Boeing Co.’s narrow-body 737s, with the option to purchase 20 more.

The preliminary agreement, which Boeing said had not been finalized, could be worth up to $2.78 billion if the leasing company buys all 40 of the 737-800s. However, airplane buyers typically negotiate steep discounts, and the company also said it has the flexibility to convert some of those orders and options into smaller 737-700s or more advanced 737-900Xs.

The airplanes are scheduled to be delivered between late 2006 and the end of 2009.

Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise currently has 61 airplanes in the fleets of 30 airlines worldwide. The leasing company is jointly owned by Singapore Airlines, Germany’s WestLB Bank, Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.