British Airways said on Wednesday it was choosing four Boeing 777 aircraft, with options for four more, ahead of Airbus A330s as it starts expanding its long haul fleet.
"It was a very close decision between the Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s," said British Airways Commercial Director Robert Boyle.
"However, the ease of assimilating up to eight aircraft into our existing 777 fleet, rather than having a small number of A330s, swung the balance in Boeing's favor," he added.
"We already have 43 of the 777 aircraft, and that was the tipping factor."
The deal is further bad news for Airbus, which postponed a major announcement on job cuts this week, saying European nations could not agree how to share the work on the plane maker's next aircraft, the wide-body A350.
The surprise statement followed a stormy board meeting at parent EADS on Sunday evening, at which the group failed to sign off on management's Power8 restructuring plans, seen as crucial to the future of Airbus, a source close to the matter said.
EADS shares were down 0.4% at 25.84 euros during European trade, while BA shares had eased 0.4% to 571 pence.