Japan Airlines has ordered 31 wide-body A350 planes from Airbus in a deal worth $9.5 billion (£5.9 billion) at list prices.
The order, which was announced this morning, marks the first time that JAL has bought aircraft from Airbus.
It represents something of a blow for Boeing, which has traditionally dominated the Japanese aviation market.
JAL also has the option of purchasing an additional 25 planes.
Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus, said: "This is Airbus' largest order for the A350 so far this year and is the largest ever order we have received from a Japanese airline.
"I must say that achieving this breakthrough order and entering a traditional competitor market was one of my personal goals."
Following its deal with JAL, Airbus now has 756 orders for its fuel-efficient A350 aircraft.
Boeing's reputation has suffered this year as its flagship B787 Dreamliner has been beset by teething problems.
In January, a faulty battery system caused problems on two different B787s, operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, resulting in Boeing taking the extaordinary decision to ground the aircraft worldwide (see news, January 16).