Air France invites competing bids from Boeing, Airbus, for 100-plane order

Europe''s biggest airline Air France-KLM will ask both Airbus and Boeing to submit competing tenders for its projected order of about 100 long-range aircraft, with a list price of around $20 billion. Bidding will begin next year, and the contract will be awarded in 2009.

Air France will look at Airbus''s A350 XWB and Boeing''s 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft will have to be powered by General Electric engines, not currently available on the A350. Air France wants to stick with engines from GE to ensure commonality across its fleet, reducing the costs of spare parts, maintenance and training.

The Amsterdam-based KLM will be first to get the new widebody planes, in around 2012 or 2013, to replace its older models. The new jetliners will replace its Boeing 747 Combi aircraft and McDonnell Douglas MD11s. The combis are able to carry large amounts of cargo as well as passengers. Air France needs the planes to replace its Boeing 777-200s.

Europe''s biggest airline Air France-KLM will ask both Airbus and Boeing to submit competing tenders for its projected order of about 100 long-range aircraft, with a list price of around $20 billion. Bidding will begin next year, and the contract will be awarded in 2009.

Air France will look at Airbus''s A350 XWB and Boeing''s 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft will have to be powered by General Electric engines, not currently available on the A350. Air France wants to stick with engines from GE to ensure commonality across its fleet, reducing the costs of spare parts, maintenance and training.

The Amsterdam-based KLM will be first to get the new widebody planes, in around 2012 or 2013, to replace its older models. The new jetliners will replace its Boeing 747 Combi aircraft and McDonnell Douglas MD11s. The combis are able to carry large amounts of cargo as well as passengers. Air France needs the planes to replace its Boeing 777-200s.