Airbus secures first aircraft deal with JAL
The multi-billion deal could worsen Boeing’s business prospects in Japan.
The French aircraft maker Airbus, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), has secured an order for 31 A350 XWB aircrafts from Japan Airlines (JAL).
Of the 31 aircrafts, 18 will be A350-900 model, while the remaining 13 will be A350-1000s.
The airline will replace its existing fleet with A350 XWBs phase wise over the next six years.
However, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Yoshiharu Ueki, president of JAL, said: “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.
“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,” Ueki added.
All A350 XWB models will be equipped with the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
The latest order is seen as a major blow to Boeing that struggled to gain confidence of carriers, especially with the 787 Dreamliner jets that saw several battery issues in the recent times questioning the long-term safety.
In January, ANA Holdings (All Nippon Holdings) and Japan Airlines (JAL) have grounded their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft citing electrical fire, fuel leaks and battery problems.
With more than 80 per cent market share in Japan, Boeing has successfully maintained long-term relationship with the Japanese carriers for decades.
On the other side, Airbus has been pressing hard to bag orders from both Japan Airlines and its rival ANA for decades.
Boeing’s business prospects in Japan are expected to worsen further with the latest deal.
JAL is expected to get a large discount for the order.
By the end of 30 September 2013, Airbus secured 1,062 net orders compared to Boeing’s 890.