PARIS Air France-KLM hopes to complete a long-delayed purchase of Airbus EAD.PA A350 long-range jets by the end of March, Air France Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac said on Monday.
Air France-KLM placed the provisional $7 billion order for 25 wide-bodied A350-900 passenger jets in September 2011 at the same time as ordering 25 Boeing (BA.N) 787 Dreamliners.
Although the Boeing order has since been confirmed, the Airbus part of the deal remains incomplete because Air France-KLM and engine maker Rolls-Royce (RR.L) cannot agree over who should maintain the engines on the Airbus aircraft.
"We are making good progress in talks with Rolls-Royce and Airbus and we hope to reach a final agreement by the end of the first quarter," de Juniac told a news conference.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer)