The preliminary agreement, which Boeing said had not been finalized, could be worth up to $2.78 billion at list prices 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 flying on 30 airlines worldwide. The leasing company is jointly owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd., Germany's WestLB Bank, Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp.
Boeing is based in Chicago but most of its commercial airplane operations, including 737 production, is in the Seattle area.
Boeing shares rose 55 cents to $57.39 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, approaching their 52-week high of $58.94.