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Malaysia Airlines invites Airbus, Boeing to bid for new planes - report

Kuala Lumpur (XFN-ASIA) - Malaysia Airlines has asked Airbus

and Boeing to bid for a contract to sell up to 55 single-aisle aircraft with

potential value of about 4.43 bln usd, a report said.

The New Straits Times said both aircraft manufacturers were expected to submit their proposals for a June deadline in an exercise aimed at replacing the national carrier's 39 ageing B737-300s.

Airbus chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, told the newspaper it had received the request for proposals (RFP) from Malaysia Airlines.

"All I can say right now is that we have received the RFPs from MAS for our single-aisle aircraft about a week ago. I can't go into details on the matter," he was quoted as saying.

Citing unnamed sources, the daily said Airbus would propose its A320s or A321s, while Boeing is expected to submit a proposal for its B737-800s or B737-900ERs.

It said the upgrading exercise would cost Malaysia Airlines between 3.3-4.43 bln usd, and that the carrier wanted to take delivery of the first plane at the end of next year.