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JAL Picks Airbus and Shoots Down Boeing

Douglas A. McIntyre

In the largest single blow to Boeing Co.'s (BA) plagued 787 Dreamliner, JAL, which has had trouble with the plane, moved a huge portion of its new plane orders to Airbus. The news bodes poorly for Boeing. The mechanical trouble the 787 has had could spread to the decisions of other large global carriers. The 787 is considered Boeing's new flagship

Boeing's shares have held up well, trading at $117, near their 52-week high. But that could change quickly.

JAL announced:

Japan Airlines (JAL) has signed a purchase agreement for 31 A350 XWBs (18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s), plus options for a further 25 aircraft. This is JAL’s first ever order for Airbus aircraft. It is also the first order Airbus has received from Japan for the A350 XWB, confirming its continuing success with world leading airlines across the globe. JAL and Airbus aim for entry into service from 2019, with the airline’s A350 XWBs gradually replacing its ageing fleet approximately over a six year period.

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“We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. “In addition to improving profitability with advanced aircraft, we always aim to deliver unparalleled services to customers with the latest cabin and steady expansion of our route network.”

"Japan Airlines is well known as one of the most preferred airlines in the world providing its passengers with an excellent flight experience. We sincerely welcome Japan Airlines as a new Airbus customer and feel honored by this first ever order from Japan for our all-new A350 XWB,” said Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus. "It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us. This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us, JAL and Airbus.

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