Air New Zealand to place new Airbus jet order -sources

DOHA Sat May 31, 2014 3:28am EDT

DOHA May 31 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand is close to placing an order for around a dozen A320-family aircraft worth well over $1 billion at list prices to expand its fleet of mainly Airbus medium-haul jets, industry sources said on Saturday.

The deal, which could be announced on the sidelines of a global airlines meeting in Doha on Sunday, is the latest step in the airline's fleet renewal programme that will also see it soon introduce the latest version of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus has called a news conference to announce an airplane order on Sunday, but declined to give further details. Air New Zealand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The announcement comes as the International Air Transport Association, whose 240 airline members include Air New Zealand's Tasman partner Virgin Australia and its main rival Qantas, prepares to hold meetings from June 1 to 3. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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