Japan Airlines may buy 20 Airbus A350 jets: Nikkei

TOKYO Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:24pm EDT

The logo of Japan Airlines is seen between passengers at Haneda Airport in Tokyo February 4, 2013.REUTERS/Toru Hanai

The logo of Japan Airlines is seen between passengers at Haneda Airport in Tokyo February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Airlines Co (9201.T) may buy about 20 A350 jets from Airbus EAD.PA for around 400 billion yen ($4.23 billion), the Nikkei daily reported on Sunday, a move that would reduce its reliance on Boeing (BA.N).

The Japanese carrier is considering using A350-1000 jets on flights to Europe and the United States to replace its Boeing 777 jets, and is set to make a final decision on the purchase by around June, the newspaper said, without citing sources.

Japan Airlines and Airbus could not be immediately reached for comment.

The deal for the 350-seater planes would be the first with the European aircraft maker and includes a simulation facility for pilot training.

Japan Airlines is set to retire its lone McDonnell Douglas MD-90 jet after a final flight on March 30, leaving it with a fleet of more than 100 aircraft, all manufactured by Boeing, the report said.

The carrier's seven Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets have been grounded since mid-January after problems with its lithium-ion battery.

($1 = 94.4900 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Tim Kelly; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)