The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) is expected to sell 60 737 Max aircraft to Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL) in a deal with a nominal book value of about $5.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal said Monday.

The transaction would help sales of the Chicago-based company's 737 Max model, which is scheduled to roll off the assembly line in 2017.

Boeing's airplane, a more fuel-efficient jetliner based on the 737 frame, was devised earlier in the decade as a competitor to Airbus' A320 Neo model, which is expected to be operational in 2015. But sales of Boeing's model have been left behind by its competitor: the 60-plane order by Los Angeles-based Air Lease would bring the number of known orders to 500, while more than 1,300 orders for A320s have been disclosed.

Indeed, even Air Lease, which has been a going concern since 2010 and has in the past bought other planes from Boeing, last year announced it would buy 50 A320 Neos from Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. (EAD.PA).

In morning trading, Air Lease shares fell 9 cents to $23.68 while Boeing shares were down $1.39, or 1.8 percent, to $75.88.