Air France says orders 50 planes from Airbus, Boeing

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Air France-KLM said on Friday it had split an order for 50 long-haul carriers between Europe's Airbus and US rival Boeing, without giving details on the share of the deal for the rival companies.

Earlier, press reports said the giant Franco-Dutch airline would order 25 Airbus A350-900s and 25 Boeing 787-800 Dreamliners with options to buy another 50 planes to renew its fleet in a deal worth $11.3 billion (8.1 billion euros).

The US firm said in a statement that for its part the deal concerned 25 long-haul B787-9 at a catalogue price of 5.45 billion dollars and that the European carrier had taken out an option to buy 25 more.

Last week the airline's chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said the proposed deal was to replace planes that will reach the end of their service in 2018-2020.

The order has attracted huge attention in France, where officials and politicians have favoured Airbus -- whose major plant lies in Toulouse, in the south of the country -- over Boeing, touching on sensitive ground as the two companies fight it out.

The long-haul planes will replace Air France's A340 fleet and KLM's stock of Boeing MD-11s.

© 2011 AFP

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