In a blow to Boeing Co., Japan Airlines on Monday announced it has ordered 31 jets from Boeing's competitor, Airbus, in a deal worth $9.5 billion.
It's the first order of Airbus jets for Japan Airlines and gives the European firm a huge foothold in the Japanese aviation market, largely dominated by jets from U.S.-based Boeing.
"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, chief executive of Airbus. "This highlights a very bright and flourishing future for both of us."
The A350 XWB is Airbus' latest plane, an extra-wide-bodied jet that is more fuel-efficient than its predecessors. Thirteen of the 31 jets ordered are A350-100s, the largest in the A350 category. It can accommodate 350 passengers on a long-haul flight.
There have been 725 orders of the new jet so far, according to the Airbus' website, compared with more than 950 of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner jet.
Japan's order will bump Airbus' orders for the A350 to more than 750 and the jets are expected to be delivered by 2019.
Boeing has long dominated the Japan aviation market, but recent delivery delays and mechanical troubles with the Dreamliner have shaken confidence in the planemaker, aviation experts said.
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