Air France-KLM orders 25 of Airbus wide-body A350

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 5:07 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19 at 5:34 AM

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Air France-KLM is ordering 25 Airbus A350 jets, saying the wide-body plane that flew for the first time last week is key to plans to expand long-haul flights.

Wednesday's announcement at the Paris Air Show was a boost for the A350, which Airbus is hoping will help the company catch up to Boeing's popular 787 and 777 in the lucrative field of long-haul wide-body jets. The A350, which typically seats 314 passengers, has a list price of $287.7 million, although most buyers negotiate steep discounts.

The A350 makes extensive use of lightweight carbon fiber, at a time when fuel costs are a major concern. Potential customers at the air show haven't been able to see the plane at Le Bourget — the plane is not yet cleared for flight there.

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