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Kuwait Airways to sign $3 billion-plus Airbus deal: paper

KUWAIT (Reuters) - State-run Kuwait Airways will spend 850 million dinars ($2.98 billion) on 25 new Airbus jets and aims to lease a further 13 to upgrade its ageing fleet, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Sunday.

Daily Al-Watan cited sources close to the decision-makers as saying that the airline would start receiving the new aircraft from Airbus, owned by aerospace and defense group EADS, from 2019.

Kuwait Airways plans to buy 10 wide-bodied A350-900 jets and 15 of the slimmer A320neo, the newspaper said, adding that the deal would include support services.

The airline also aims to lease 13 of the A330 and A320 models for six years, the paper said, without giving details of the leasing cost.

"The sources made clear that the deal, which will be signed with Airbus very soon, is one contract that will include both the leased and purchased planes," the newspaper said.

Kuwait Airways and Airbus were not immediately available for comment.

Rival Boeing also made a bid, but the Airbus offer was deemed more attractive, Al-Watan said.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by David Goodman)

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