Japan Airlines Airbus deal worth $9.5bn

A Japan Airlines Airbus deal worth $9.5 billion for thirty-one A350 passenger airplanes has been signed, the two companies announced today.

This is Airbus’s largest order ever from a Japanese airline.

The order is for eighteen A350-900s and thirteen A350-1000s.

JAL has an option of buying a further 25 planes from Airbus. JAL says it expects to receive delivery of the new airplanes by the end of 2014.

The Airbus A350 is the direct competitor of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. They have both been designed to be more fuel-efficient than older planes.

Analysts say this deal is a huge step forward for Airbus into the Japanese aviation market, which has been dominated by Boeing.

Farbice Bregier, CEO of Airbus said:

“This is Airbus’ largest order for the A350 so far this year and is the largest ever order we have received from a Japanese airline. I must say that achieving this breakthrough order and entering a traditional competitor market was one of my personal goals.”

Japan Airlines Airbus deal reflects aviation trend

Over the last few years unstable oil prices and a slowdown in demand has affected the aviation industry. Airlines have turned to more fuel-efficient planes, resulting in a steep increase in the sales of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The Airbus A350, which had 725 secure orders before the JAL deal, is approximately 25% more fuel-efficient than older wide-bodied aircraft.

Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines, 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.”

Ueki added “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.”

Japan Airlines Airbus deal involves two types of A350s

  • A350-900 – this plane seats over 300 passengers comfortably on flights of up to 8,100 nautical miles.
  • A350-1000 – this is a larger plane and seats 350 passengers comfortably on flights of up to 8,400 nautical miles.

All the Airbus A350s have the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner “glitches”

Boeing’s Dreamliner has been fraught with glitches. Just last month, Norwegian Air Shuttle complained of a string of glitches in two passenger planes.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have both complained of problems with 787 Dreamliner aircraft.