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SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--Airbus has been meeting with Latin American airlines including Chile's Lan Airlines (LFL, LAN.SN) and Brazil's Tam (TAM, TAMM4.BR), which are merging to form LATAM, Latin America's biggest carrier, to drum up business for aircraft such as Airbus's super jumbo jet A380.
However, Airbus--in Sao Paulo ahead of the FIDAE air show that begins next week in Santiago, Chile--declined to comment on the level of talks with the region's airlines, and denied reports that Lan or Tam had expressed interest in buying the A380.
"Airbus, as part of its commercial activity, regularly meets with airlines to update them on the airbus product line," said Airbus Vice President Rafael Alonso. "These meetings do not indicate interest to acquire the aircraft."
Earlier, local news agency Agencia Estado reported LATAM was studying the purchase of an A380. Alonso said the airline was "analyzing in great detail" the A380, according to Estado. A separate report cited Alonso as saying a Brazilian airline he declined to name had expressed interest in buying an A380 aircraft.
Airbus's press office denied he made those comments.
By 2030, Airbus expects to sell in Latin America 41 units of the mega-aircraft, which can seat more than 800 passengers. Brazil is expected to account for 26 of those orders, Airbus's press office said. So far, Airbus has yet to receive an order from Latin America, however.
Tam doesn't have plans right now to purchase the A380, Tam's press office said Thursday, reiterating fleet plans announced at the start of this year.
In January, Tam revised plans for its fleet, which includes Airbus planes as well as aircraft made by Boeing, and expected to end this year with 157 craft, from a current fleet of 154 airplanes, after reducing the number of narrow-body aircraft and increasing the number of wide-body planes.
Lan's press office in Chile didn't answer a call placed after regular business hours
-By Paulo Winterstein, Dow Jones Newswires; 55-11-3544-7073; email@example.com