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Airbus has taken the lead in a bid to supply A321neo jets to Dutch airline KLM, potentially beating rival Boeing's 737 MAX, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A decision could be taken by Franco-Dutch parent Air France-KLM as early as Thursday, the sources said.

Boeing remains in contention to keep its spot as supplier to the group's low-cost carrier Transavia, the people said, asking not to be named. Talks on the widely watched pair of deals could however go down to the wire and alter direction, they cautioned.

Air France-KLM said it had made no decision on a tender announced earlier this year. Airbus and Boeing declined comment.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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