Newport Beach-based leasing company Aviation Capital Group has announced a commitment for 35 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and a firm order for 20 Boeing...

Leasing company Aviation Capital Group (ACG) has announced a commitment for 35 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and a firm order for 20 Boeing 737-800s.

The Newport Beach, California-based lessor is the first aircraft leasing company to announce it will order aircraft of the Boeing 737 MAX family.

“ACG is a leader in the commercial airplane leasing industry and its intelligent fleet decisions have contributed to the company’s 22 consecutive years of profitability,” says Ray Conner, senior vice president of sales and customer support for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

On November 17, 2011, lessor Aviation Capital Group announced a commitment for 35 Boeing 737 MAX jets, becoming the first leasing company to commit to buying aircraft of the new 737 family. At the same time, ACG ordered 20 Boeing 737-800s, bringing its total commitments for Boeing commercial jetliners to 151 aircraft

“The ACG leadership team understands the importance of having advanced, highly competitive airplanes to meet their customers’ needs in today’s marketplace,” adds Conner. “This commitment will provide ACG with airplanes featuring performance improvements and the innovative Boeing Sky Interior that will keep its airplanes at the leading edge of passenger comfort, efficient operations and reduced fuel consumption.”

The new 737 MAX family will be powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines.

Boeing claims the new-engine variant will have a 7 per cent operating-cost advantage over tomorrow’s competition (the Airbus A320neo family, the Bombardier CSeries family, the COMAC C919 family and the Irkut MS-21 family). However, considering Boeing has not yet finalized the specifications or designs of the 737 MAX family, this claim appears premature.

The manufacturer also says the 737 MAX family will have the capacity for increased range while providing better fuel-efficiency than today’s Next-Generation 737 family.

Boeing also claims that the existing 737-800 – which can seat up to 189 passengers – can fly 260 nautical miles farther and consume 6 per cent less fuel (on a 500-nautical-mile sector) while carrying 12 more passengers than the competing model, the Airbus A320.

Various industry analysts disagree with the 6 per cent figure and contend the difference is more like 2 per cent when the aircraft is carrying the same number of passengers, and that any fuel-burn advantage the 737-800 may enjoy reduces over sectors of 800 nautical miles or more.

“The 737 is one of the prime building blocks of our portfolio strategy,” says R. Stephen Hannahs, group managing director and chief executive officer of ACG. “These new 737NG and 737 MAX airplanes will continue our long-standing strategy of providing our customers the most fuel efficient, most capable airplanes with the lowest operating costs.”

ACG has now ordered or committed to a total of 151 Boeing aircraft, including 111 Next-Generation 737s, 35 737 MAX-family jets and five Boeing 787s. The total includes 15 Next-Generation 737s for which ACG acquired delivery positions from an airline in 2006.

Earlier this week, at the Dubai Airshow 2011, ACG announced a firm order for 30 Airbus A320neo jets, bringing its total orders for A320-family aircraft to 98.