U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 26 mins

Japan Airlines to consider replacing 737 jets next year - chairman

DOHA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Japan Airlines (JAL) will start considering replacements for its fleet of Boeing 737 jets next 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, will start by replacing 737-400 planes, JAL chairman Masaru Onishi said on the sidelines of an event in Doha.

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

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

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

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

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

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