Turkish Airlines starts discussions for A380 or 747-8

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Turkish Airlines has started working on an order for large-capacity aircraft with more than 400 seats.

Chairman Hamdi Topcu says: "At the moment, we are talking with Boeing and Airbus for the 747-8 and A380. The aircraft requirement is around four or five."

Topcu says that the airline's 312-seat Boeing 777-300ERs give it increased capacity to New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. "The load...is high and we are looking for new large-size aircraft.

"With increased passenger numbers and aircraft, Turkish Airlines really needs such a large aircraft for competition with European airlines. On the other hand, this helps Turkish Airlines' image."

Turkish Airlines recently reached an agreement with Boeing for early 777-300ER deliveries. The 12 aircraft were planned to arrive from the end of October but, following negotiations, the first will be delivered in September.

The carrier has four 777's leased from India's Jet Airways but will hand them back after it receives its own.

"Turkish Airlines is looking for more long-range aircraft in the short term to open new long-haul destinations," adds Topcu.