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Kuwait Airways signs deal with Airbus to buy 25 planes

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Kuwait Airways signed a deal with Airbus to buy 15 A320neo and 10 A350-900 planes with options for 10 more, five from each category, chairman Sami al-Nasef said on Thursday.

"We have signed a letter of acceptance with Airbus to buy 15 A320neo and 10 A350-900," Nasef told a news conference, adding that KAC has an option to buy five additional planes from each category.

Delivery of the A320neo will start in 2019 while the others will be delivered in 2020, Nasef said.

He did not disclose the value of the deal which is aimed at replacing the oil-rich emirate airline's ageing fleet.

But local daily Al-Watan reported on Sunday that the deal is worth $3 billion (2.3 billion euros).

Al-Watan said KAC chose the Airbus offer over Boeing Co because it was $280 million cheaper.

In addition to modernising its fleet, the loss-making company wants to make the airline profitable before offering a local or foreign investor a 40 percent stake.

Kuwait Airways has posted losses in all but one of the past 21 years, amounting to more than $2.7 billion, which have been covered by the government.