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Japanese Order 22 Boeing Jets Deals For 737s Will Be Worth $1.1 Billion, Sources Indicate

Two Japanese trading companies have ordered 22 of Boeing’s newest passenger jets in deals worth $1.1 billion, the companies said Friday.

Osaka-based Itochu Corp. will spend $600 million to buy 12 of the B737-800 aircraft, company spokesman Takehiko Kigura said.

Tokyo-based Kanematsu Corp. bought 10 of the jets for $500 million, a company spokesman said on condition of anonymity. He said the two deals were unrelated.

The two spokesmen said most of the planes, which can seat 189 people, will be leased abroad. Kigura said some of the aircraft purchased by Itochu will be sold.

Japan’s leading business newspaper, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, said Friday that the purchases symbolize improved prospects for the aircraft leasing business, which has been in the doldrums for most of the decade.

The Seattle-based Boeing, the world’s biggest maker of commercial jets, reached agreement Thursday to buy Rockwell International Corp.’s aerospace and defense holdings in a $3 billion deal.

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