Airbus clinches landmark jet order with Japan Airlines

Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:19am EDT
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(This October 7 story has been filed again to correct typographical spelling error of 'Rolls-Royce' in paragraph 24.)

By Tim Hepher and Tim Kelly

BARCELONA/TOKYO (Reuters) - Airbus EAD.PA clinched its first jet order from Japan Airlines (9201.T: Quote) on Monday, cracking a big national market long dominated by the European firm's main rival, Boeing (BA.N: Quote).

The U.S. planemaker acknowledged it had paid a penalty for the mechanically troubled debut of its 787 Dreamliner.

The landmark deal for 31 wide-body A350 jets with a combined $9.5 billion list price follows an intense battle between the two manufacturers as JAL and domestic rival ANA Holdings Inc (9202.T: Quote) seek dozens of new long-haul jets over the next decade.

The agreement, which is also likely to unsettle a Japanese aerospace industry that builds large portions of Boeing's jets, includes options for another 25 of the A350s.

"This is a huge win for Airbus and a big loss for Boeing," said aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton, managing director of Seattle-based Leeham Co.

"Airbus has been trying to break the wide-body monopoly of Boeing for decades and likewise Boeing has been wanting to keep Airbus out of JAL and ANA."   Continued...