The A320neo is the new upgraded A320 model from Airbus, and the 737-800 is of course one of the current Boeing planes. And, to complete the scene setting, ILFC (International Lease Finance Corp) is the second largest airplane leasing company in the world – only General Electric's GECAS subsidiary is larger. So it is also probably true to say ILFC is the largest independent airplane leasing company out there, and currently has a fleet of 950 jets, with another 100 on order (prior to this new order announcement).
ILFC has just ordered 100 of the new A320neo series of planes, and at the same time, also ordered a mere 33 737-800s.
I'm deducing that ILFC only ordered 737-800s because it had to, not because it wanted to. It is telling to see that the 737s will be delivered starting next year and the delivery sequence will be complete in 2016, which is also – and non-coincidentally – the time at which they expect to start receiving the A320neo planes.
A combination of needing any planes at all as soon as possible, and perhaps having some clients who in turn feel themselves to currently be locked into 737 series planes probably caused ILFC to order the 737s. But it also seems that when it was confronted with a clean piece of paper on which to write a future order for planes not currently needed, it chose the A320neo almost exclusively.
Boeing, meantime, continues to mutter vague generalities about a successor to the 737, while offering nothing specific that airlines can consider and order.
My earlier analysis about this pivotal battle between Airbus and Boeing for future market share remains as relevant today as it was in December last year, with the only change being that it is now two and a half months further on with Boeing still not having formulated a response to the Airbus initiative.
See also my article in February about the tangible impact Boeing's delays are having on their 737 sales.
More details of this newly announced order by ILFC here.