ALTA: Aerolineas considering A350 or 787 order

Panama City
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Aerolineas Argentinas is in preliminary talks with Airbus and Boeing regarding an order for the A350-900 or 787-9, say executives.

The Buenos Aires-based flag carrier is looking for a replacement of its A340 and planned A330 fleet by "the end of the decade", says Guillermo Rudaeff, vice-president of business development and alliances at Aerolineas, on the sidelines of the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Panama City. An order could be placed in 2013.

Aerolineas operates a widebody fleet of seven A340-300s and four A340-200s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

Mariano Recalde, president of Aerolineas, told Airline Business in August that the airline is looking for up to four used A330s to add to its fleet.

Rudaeff says that the airline is still looking for the A330s to operate on north-south routes between Argentina and northern Latin America as well as North America.

Discussions with Airbus and Boeing began following a request for proposals (RFP) during the past month for new aircraft, including both widebody and narrowbody variants.

Rudaeff says that Aerolineas received "many responses" to the RFP but is focused on its future widebody fleet at the moment.

The SkyTeam alliance member operates a narrowbody fleet of 20 Boeing 737-700s and four 737-800s, according to Ascend. Its subsidiary Austral operates a fleet of 20 Embraer 190s.