Japan Airlines to consider replacing 737 jets next year - chairman

Reuters

DOHA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japan Airlines (JAL) willstart considering replacements for its fleet of Boeing 737 jetsnext year and is looking at proposals from both Boeing and Airbus, its chairman said on Tuesday.

The airline, which owns 30 of the single-isle aircraft, willstart by replacing 737-400 planes, JAL chairman Masaru Onishisaid on the sidelines of an event in Doha.

"In one year we would like to start some consideration aboutthe replacement of 737 jets," Onishi said. "We have enoughinformation from both planemakers."

"The time will come to replace the 737-400 in a year to fiveyears," he added.

JAL has announced a landmark $9.5 billion deal with Airbusfor 31 wide-body Airbus A350 jets, ending Boeing's dominance inthe Japanese market and opening new options for the Europeanplanemaker.

Delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and the plane'ssubsequent grounding after batteries overheated played a role inBoeing's failure to secure that deal, analysts have said.

JAL, also a big Dreamliner customer, will keep its order forthe plane, Onishi said.

"Potentially 787 is a very good aircraft. So we would liketo keep it. We still have some issues to fix but I think we cando it with cooperation with Boeing. It's mainly softwareissues."

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