The other 25 planes will be A330-neos, an updated version of its wide-body medium-haul jet with fuel saving engines which is slated to enter into service at the end of 2017.     

"The order should be finalised in the coming days," said one of the sources, adding, "The announcement could be made at the beginning of next week."

Delta had asked Airbus and Boeing in April to submit offers as the airline considers replacing its ageing fleet of long-haul 747-400 and 767-300 jets, saying it expected to place an order by the end of the year.     

The A350-900 is designed to compete with Boeing 777 and 787 jets in the lucrative long-haul segment and has already received 750 orders.

Equipped with Trent XWB engines from Rolls-Royce, the plane can transport 315 passengers up to 14,500 kilometres.     

Earlier in the month, Airbus announced that it had signed a preliminary deal to supply the China Aircraft Leasing Company with 100 planes in a contract worth around USD 10.2 billion at catalogue prices.

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