Thailand’s Nok Airlines is close to placing an order for Boeing 737 MAX.
The deal for the latest version of Boeing’s best-selling passenger jet, the 737 MAX, is expected to be announced at next week’s Singapore Airshow.
Both the airline and the manufacturer declined to comment.
The order could be worth between $1.5 and $3 billion and contrasts with concerns that aviation could be swept up in Thailand’s political and economic uncertainty which has helped fuel a recent slide in emerging markets.
Nok Air, 39.2 percent owned by Thai Airways International PCL THAI.BK, competes with Air Asia’s, Thai venture Asia Aviation PCL AAV.BK, a venture backed by Indonesia’s Lion Air and Bangkok Airways Co. Ltd BA.BK.
The new order would be the first major aircraft deal for Nok Air, which listed in Thailand in June in order to renew its fleet and which is expanding domestic and international routes.
Two sources said the airline’s requirements could include as many as 28 of the 737 aircraft family, but another said barely half of the total would be ordered directly from Boeing.
“Leasing companies will provide part of Nok’s requirements. Nok is looking at a number of arrangements as they need the aircraft,” said a further source familiar with the deal.
Nok Air operates 14 Boeing aircraft in its fleet of 21, with the remainder comprising ATR and Saab aircraft.