Turkish Airlines in talks with Airbus after Boeing deal
23 Sep 2017 - 0:08
Paris: Turkish Airlines (THY) has begun talks with Airbus to buy up to 40 A350 jetliners worth $12.4 bn at list prices, hours after outlining a similar deal with rival planemaker Boeing, people familiar with the airline said on yesterday.
The carrier’s first significant moves on expansion since last year’s failed Turkish coup appear designed to signal a rebound coinciding with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the United Nations, though no deals have yet been finalised.
In New York, where Erdogan this week attended the UN General Assembly, Boeing said on Thursday THY intended to buy 40 of its 787-9 Dreamliner jets worth $11bn at list prices. Boeing and the Turkish government also announced a joint initiative to support the Turkish aerospace industry.
“During the talks to finalise the order, we are strictly evaluating the $1bn worth business volume for the local Turkish supplier industry,” THY Chairman Ilker Aycı said yesterday.
Hours after the Boeing announcement, attention switched behind the scenes to Boeing’s arch-rival Airbus as THY also sought prices from the European planemaker for up to 40 wide-body A350-900 jets.
It was not immediately clear whether this might lead to a separate order or clash with the 787 talks or even be just a case of THY checking Boeing’s prices against Airbus’s. But THY typically maintains a balanced fleet from the rival planemakers and analysts said the diplomatic setting and wider industrial agreement suggested the Boeing deal was likely to go ahead.
That deal came as US President Donald Trump praised Erdogan as a friend, despite tensions between the two countries over Turkish security officials involved in street fighting with protesters during a visit to Washington in May. But the timing and nature of the US deal were unexpected. THY had previously expressed interest in the larger 777X.