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Turkish Airlines makes huge Airbus order in bid for air dominance

Turkish Airlines said on Friday it has decided to purchase more than 200 Airbus aircraft — with the option for over 100 more — in the coming decade as it seeks to become the world’s largest carrier. Turkish Airlines chief executive Bilal Eksi said in a social media statement that the entire order could potentially add up to 355 aircraft. The deal would be one of the industry’s largest and substantially expand the Turkish flag carrier’s existing fleet of 439 jets. “I wish good luck to our country and our company,” Eksi said. Turkish Airlines said in a separate corporate filing that the purchases would be made as part of its “strategic plan” for 2023-2033. But the airline and Airbus differed slightly about the details of the deal. The Turkish Airlines statement said it had made firm orders for 230 jets and placed purchasing rights for an additional 125 aircraft. Airbus said the 230 figure included 10 jets Turkish Airlines had ordered in September and thus covered only 220 new aircraft. The airline’s confirmed order purchase — which includes 150 A321 NEO and 60 widebody A350-900 jets — has a catalogue price of more than $40 billion. Few deals cost their actual sticker price because plane makers make discounts for bulk orders. – Cheers in Britain – The Turkish carrier’s existing fleet is split evenly between Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The new order delivers a massive boost to the European aerospace giant in its race for global supremacy with its US rival. “This order for the latest generation aircraft is a demonstration of the bold vision by Turkish Airlines,” Airbus executive Christian Scherer said in a statement. “We are proud to accompany Turkey’s connection to the world with our state-of-the-art aircraft.” Turkish Airlines is based in Istanbul’s newly-built international airport and flies to 120 countries. The company claims to own “the title of the airline that flies to most countries in the world”. Turkish Airlines said the deal also includes a separate order for Rolls-Royce to provide maintenance services and spare parts for the A350 jets’ engines. The British government said Friday’s deal includes 70 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce. “This landmark deal between Turkish Airlines, Airbus and Rolls-Royce demonstrates that the sky’s the limit for the UK’s thriving aerospace sector,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement. British trade secretary Kemi Badenoch called it a “bid win for the UK’s world-leading space sector”.

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