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Boeing and Airbus Vying for Air France Fleet Contract

Air France is choosing between Boeing's 737 MAX and Airbus's A320neo series for its budget fleet.
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Shares of Boeing  (BA) - Get Report and rival Airbus SE EADSY are on investors' radar screens following a report that Air France KLM AFLYY has begun negotiations with the companies for a major aircraft order. 

Air France is looking for 160 single-aisle planes for use in the carrier's Transavia discount division and European operations, a spokesperson told Bloomberg. 

The airline will decide between Boeing's 737 MAX jet and Airbus' A320neo series narrow-body planes. 

The current Transavia fleet, which has French and Dutch divisions, is composed mostly of Boeing 737-800s. 

If Air France were to choose Airbus, that would go against the strategy of having a single supplier, which rivals like Easy Jet ESYJY have employed to control costs, Bloomberg reported. 

Air France has emphasized expanding its low-cost operations as it looks to rebound from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. 

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Boeing's 737 planes have often been in the news over the past two years. 

Earlier this month, one of Boeing's 737 cargo planes was forced to execute an emergency landing offshore Hawaii.

The 737-200 cargo plane, operating as Transair, experienced engine trouble shortly after takeoff from Honolulu and was forced to turn around before executing an emergency landing procedure near the Hawaiian coast.

Boeing's 737 MAX passenger aircraft was involved in two fatal accidents over a six month span between 2018 and 2019. The crashes were linked to the plane's flight navigation system. 

The jet was grounded in March 2019 and authorized to fly again by the Federal Aviation Administration in November 2020.

At last check Boeing shares were trading up 0.2% at $240.04. Airbus American depositary receipts were off 0.4% at $33.32.

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