Air France-KLM is negotiating with both Boeing and Europe's Airbus
Although the Franco-Dutch carrier -- in which the French government has a 15.7 percent stake -- is under pressure from members of parliament to buy from Airbus, Boeing's Jim McNerney said the odds were not stacked against the U.S. company.
I have spoken to the leaders of Air France. I am convinced that the decisions made in this affair will respect the principle of equality, he was quoted as saying in an interview published on the Journal du Dimanche's website on Sunday.
I have faith in the quality of our products and in the fact that we can win a significant part of this order.
The interview appeared on the eve of the Paris air show at Le Bourget.
I know the reality of political debate. There is a special situation in France for companies that are as close to the government as Air France. But the company has shown throughout its history that its priority is access to the best technologies, McNerney said in the interview.
Boeing is currently considering whether to follow Airbus in upgrading engines on its Boeing 737 jets.
The decision either to replace the Boeing 737 with a new model or to re-engine the existing aircraft will be made by the end of this year on early 2012 at the latest, McNerney said.
(Reporting by Lionel Laurent; Editing by Tim Hepher and Jane Merriman)