JAL Stiffs Boeing With $9.5B Airbus Buy
First time Japan Airlines has bought planes from European firm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 7, 2013 8:24 AM CDT
Airbus Japan Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier, left, and Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki shake hands following their press conference in Tokyo, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013.   (Junji Kurokawa)

(Newser) – Japan Airlines is buying its first-ever jets from Airbus in a deal with a list value of $9.5 billion. The purchase of 31 A350 planes deals a blow to US rival Boeing, which had been JAL's star supplier for decades. Airbus Chief Executive and President Fabrice Bregier and Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki signed the deal today in Tokyo, which includes an option for JAL to buy 25 more Airbus planes. Ueki said the decision to turn to Airbus, based in France, for replacements for retiring Boeing 777 jets was unrelated to the problems that have plagued Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Ueki repeatedly said the A350 was chosen because it was the "best match for our needs." Lately the Airbus-Boeing battle has focused on sales of the next generation of long-range, wide-bodied jets. In that matchup, today's order represents a big blow landed by Airbus A350. JAL may also have its eyes on Airbus' even bigger jet, the A380, as a future buy for use on lucrative routes such as those to Asia. "JAL wants out of its commitment for the 787 with all its problems," says an aviation analyst. "So JAL has been switching gears and moving to Airbus." The planes go into service in 2019, both sides said.

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Oct 7, 2013 8:17 PM CDT
Boeing started to fix the manufacture section responsible for the Dreamliner project by shifting work to the center USA states that built their company in the first place. Boeing help start aviation in cities like Wichita, KS and Oklahoma City, OK as major Boeing manufacturing. They recently moved an additional 1000 jobs back to Oklahoma City just a mile from their old B-17 factory, which happens to do primary work on the B1b and E-3.
Oct 7, 2013 4:59 PM CDT
Can't blame them a bit the "dreamliner" has turned into a nightmare. Boeing better get their act together or they'll loose even more sales.
Oct 7, 2013 10:13 AM CDT
JAL couldn't wait 100 years to get a plane,Boeing takes way too long to deliver a product.