Sberbank has reached a US$1bn agreement with Boeing for an order of 12 737-800 aircraft.

The airplanes are intended for leasing under Sberbank’s contract with Transaero, Russia’s second largest airline. The bank says it has provided Russian airlines with financial leasing deals in the past but this is its first aircraft leasing agreement.

Sberbank’s CEO Herman Gref says that the agreement: “Marks a very significant step forward and is evidence of Sberbank’s commitment to aviation financing. It substantially contributes to the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and the US.”

Boeing International’s president Shep Hill adds: “Boeing is honoured to have long and mutually beneficial relationships with outstanding customers and partners and is now privileged to enjoy the support and confidence of Sberbank as the bank moves into aircraft leasing.”

The US aerospace company says the single-aisle Boeing 737-800 is one of the best selling versions of the Next-Generation 737 family.