The chief executive of International Lease Finance Corp., the airline leasing company of American International Group , is expected to leave as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company may name John Plueger, currently ILFC's president and chief operating officer, to succeed Steven Udvar-Hazy, who turns 64 years old in February, the paper reported, citing sources.

Douglas Steenland, an AIG board member and former President and CEO of Northwest Airlines, succeeded Udvar-Hazy last month as chairman of ILFC, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

AIG declined comment.

Udvar-Hazy effectively invented the business of plane leasing when he started ILFC in 1973. The benefits of leasing rather than buying planes appealed to start-ups and traditional airlines alike, and he built up and sold the company to AIG in 1990 for about $1.3 billion.

ILFC has a portfolio of about 1,000 aircraft, with a book value of more than $40 billion.

AIG has been seeking to sell ILFC, but has struggled to find buyers due to the aircraft leasing company's high debt load of around $30 billion.

Udvar-Hazy recently led a group which offered to buy about 10 percent of the unit's aircraft portfolio for roughly $4 billion, sources previously told Reuters.

(Reporting by Megan Davies and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Diane Craft)