GE in talks for purchase of 40-50 Boeing 737-800 jets: report

General Electric's, GE Commercial Aviation Services, the world's biggest aircraft lessor, may be in talks with Chicago-based Boeing Co to buy 40 to 50 of its 737 jetliners, according to industry sources. The purchase is meant to meet demand from airlines upgrading their fleets, sources said.

The order might be valued at as much as $3.52 billion, based on a list price of $70.5 million for a 737-800 model. Big customers or large orders traditionally attract large discounts, so list prices are only notional.

Orders from lessors are on an upswing as they receive record rates from airlines who find themselves in need of more planes with passenger traffic picking up across continents.

In December 2007, GE Commercial Aviation Services ordered 53 of Boeing's 737-800's.

Boeing and GE have declined to comment on the report.