Japan Airlines orders 31 Airbus A350s valued at $9.5 bn

PTI Posted online: Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Tokyo : Japan Airlines said today it is ordering 31 Airbus A350 planes in a deal valued at $9.5 billion and which challenges Boeing's dominance in the Japanese market as it struggles with its troubled Dreamliner.

The carrier said it had signed a purchase agreement for 18 long-haul A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s, with an option to buy another 25 aircraft.

The deal marks the first time JAL has bought Airbus planes with the slate of new aircraft expected to come into service from 2019, the carrier said.

The push by the European plane maker comes as JAL and domestic rival All Nippon Airways -- whose fleet is also dominated by Boeing -- have been sideswiped by problems with the Dreamliner.

The fuel-efficient aircraft was grounded globally in January after lithium-ion batteries overheated on two different planes, with one of them catching fire while parked.

The Japanese carriers -- the single biggest operators of the Dreamliner -- have put their fleets back into service. But they are seeking compensation from US-based Boeing.

JAL shares rose 3.01 per cent to 5,810 yen today as the broader marker fell 1.22 per cent.