March 24, 2013 / 3:26 AM / 5 years ago

Japan Airlines may buy 20 Airbus A350 jets: Nikkei

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

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