Japan Airlines Co. formalized Monday its first order from European manufacturer Airbus with a purchase of 31 airplanes of the A350 line worth $9.5 billion at list prices.

The Japanese carrier signed an order for 18 aircraft of the A350-900 and 13 A350-1000 models, plus an option for another 25 supplementary aircraft, Airbus said in a communique.

Both companies expect the passenger jets to begin operating in 2019 for a period of six years.

"We will utilize the A350 XWB to maximum, which offers high level of operational efficiency and product competitiveness, while positively catering to new business opportunities after slots at airports in Tokyo are increased," JAL president Yoshiharu Ueki said.

"It fills us with pride to see a leading Japanese airline start a new chapter with us," Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier said.

The A350-900 is produced in five different configurations and can carry between 250 and 350 passengers to a radius of 8,100 nautical miles. The A350-1000 has a capacity for carrying 350 massengers some 8,400 nautical miles.

Both aircraft are equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB motors. EFE