Turkish Airlines has announced that it will order at least 15 Airbus or Boeing jumbo airliners valued at $4 billion.
The airline plans to buy the jumbos in July 2012 as part of its strategy to expand its routes. The airline is hoping to lure transfer traffic between Europe and Asia away from competing airlines Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA), Air France-KLM Group and British Airways-parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) SA.
The carrier plans to purchase Airbus A380 or Boeing 747-8 aircraft for delivery after 2014. The airline has plans to grow its fleet to 300 aircraft by 2023.
The Chairman for Turkish Airlines, Hamdi Topcu, said,
The price will determine the size of the purchase but it should not be below 15 planes. We are assessing the purchase plan in the board of directors and will make a decision on this in one month.
Market conditions are favourable for Turkish Airlines – a third airport with a capacity to accommodate 120 million passengers per year will be soon opened in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines is currently analyzing simulations of both the A380 and 747-8, as well as the price. The airline currently has 39 long-haul jets, which includes 12 777s and 17 passenger-variant Airbus A330s.