Boeing hopes its efforts to sustain the 767 production line will be boosted this week, with Japan Airlines (JAL) set to reveal its choice of a medium-range widebody freighter.

The carrier, which has never ordered an Airbus aircraft, has been evaluating the European manufacturer’s A300-600F alongside Boeing’s 767-300F, and is expected to order three aircraft for delivery from 2007.

JAL says it will announce its decision “shortly”, but declines to comment further. Boeing is seen as the strong favourite to win the order. In May the manufacturer revealed that an unidentified customer had placed an order for three 767s, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Alan Mulally said at the Paris air show that it now has enough commitments in hand to avoid having to decide this year whether to shut the 767 line.

JAL operates 747 Freighters, but wants a smaller type to operate more non-stop services within Asia and launch new services, particularly to China.

  •  Vietnam Airlines has signed a firm order for four Boeing 787-8s, for delivery in 2009 and 2010. The carrier has also taken purchase rights on 11 more 787s.

Source: Flight International