AFP, Singapore : Myanmar’s national carrier today signed a deal to lease 10 Boeing aircraft worth nearly $1 billion that will ply international routes in a bid to tap booming tourism as the once-reclusive country opens up to the world. Under the agreement, forged on the opening day of the Singapore Airshow, state-owned Myanma Airways will lease the Boeing 737s from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial leasing and financing arm of US giant General Electric. “Myanma Airways, which has suspended international operations since 1993, is now going to re-enter the international market with the support of our good friend and partner GECAS,” Myanmar Transportation Minister Nyan Htun Aung said at the signing ceremony. “We hope that we could become well known again to international air travellers,” he said, alongside GECAS executives and US ambassador to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell. Mitchell described the agreement as the “largest commercial sale” by a US company to Myanmar in decades. “It is an important moment for both our countries and I assume it will be the first of many such moments among American businesses and Myanmar,” he said.