PARIS (Reuters) - China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC) <1848.HK> is among the inaugural customers for a larger new version of Boeing's 737 jetliner, two industry sources said on Saturday.
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 will be launched at the Paris Airshow on Monday with the backing of at least two Chinese lessors - CALC and the aviation arm of China Development Bank, whose interest in the aircraft emerged earlier this week.
Boeing and CALC declined to comment.
CALC's purchase of the newest variant of Boeing's most-sold jet is seen as part of an order for 50 aircraft from the 737 MAX family announced by the Hong Kong leasing firm this week.
CALC, part-owned by China Everbright Bank <601818.SS>, reported the overall order on Thursday but did not disclose a breakdown by type of model.
It is the company's first Boeing order and will diversify its portfolio following previous Airbus purchases.
The stock exchange posting on the eve of the world's largest air show is the most concrete sign so far that the widely expected launch of the Boeing 737 MAX 10 is going ahead, subject to the formal approval of Boeing directors.
The launch is expected to be backed by low-cost operators Lion Air of Indonesia and India's Spicejet.
Ireland's Ryanair <RYA.I> has confirmed a Reuters report that it is looking at the jet.
It could also include an order from United Airlines <UAL.N>, which Boeing has been actively wooing as a marquee customer.
The 190-230-seat Boeing 737 MAX 10 is designed to plug a gap at the top end of Boeing's single-aisle range after strong sales of the competing Airbus A321neo.
It will be delivered from 2020.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Adrian Croft)