JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda) is reportedly closing in on a deal with Boeing to acquire "at least" twenty B737 MAX aircraft, with the US plane manufacturer having edged out earlier favourite, Airbus and their A321neo family.

First reported by Bloomberg which cited unnamed sources close to the talks, Japan Airlines is looking to order a mixture of B737-8s and larger B737-10s. There was no breakdown of individual type numbers, but the report said the order could be announced by the end of the month. The airline was previously leaning towards an Airbus order, but a lengthy delivery pipeline for the type and other customers experiencing delays with deliveries has reportedly swung the pendulum in Boeing's favour.

Boeing's latest undelivered aircraft data shows it has 4,246 MAX aircraft on order while Airbus has 3,679 outstanding A321neo orders. However, Boeing has successfully ramped up production rates of the MAX and it is now delivering planes far faster than Airbus is.

The bulk of the existing Japan Airlines fleet is Boeing aircraft. Among those are forty-three B737-800s with an average fleet age of 13.1 years. These aircraft operate domestic sectors within Japan and some short haul international routes. In mid-2022, ch-aviation reported that the airline was looking at small and medium sized aircraft for its short haul fleet replacement program.