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TOULOUSE, FRANCEAirbus is reportedly close to a deal with the Dutch flag carrier KLM, which will displace Boeing as the supplier of single-aisle jets in the airline's fleet.



According to the news of Reuters, Air France-KLM said it had made no decision on a tender announced earlier this year. Airbus and Boeing declined comment.

The Franco-Dutch Group launched a tender earlier this year to renew and expand the medium-haul Boeing 737 fleet at KLM and the French and Dutch operations of Transavia.

Chief Executive Ben Smith has said combined the deal could involve a firm purchase of 80 aircraft with options for another 60 to 80 in what would be the group's biggest single fleet transaction.

Analysts have previously said the competition is Boeing's to lose after a long association with KLM, but Smith stressed in September the group was talking to both major suppliers and holding parallel talks with engine makers.

Factors weighing in Airbus's favour in recent months have included a gradual thawing of relations between French and Dutch arms of the airline group, which have different suppliers, and tensions over recent Boeing 787 delays, sources familiar to the subject said.
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