Max Kingsley-Jones/LONDON

Boeing is expected to emerge as the victor in the campaign to supply THY Turkish Airlines with a new fleet of short-haul aircraft, while the decision on medium-capacity aircraft has not been revealed.

THY is believed to have selected the next-generation 737-800 over the Airbus A320, and will place orders for 30 aircraft, plus options for a further 24, for delivery from 1998, worth an estimated $2.8 billion. The apparent outcome of the campaign has been made public by a mistimed AlliedSignal Aerospace announcement that it has been selected to supply its wheels and brakes for the 54 737s involved.

Boeing confirms that it is offering the 737-800, but its official line is that it is still awaiting the final Government decision.

The selection has been complicated by the recent resignation of the country's prime minister. A new prime minister has now been appointed, who is in the process of forming a new Government. The Turkish Government has been seeking an offset deal for up to 50% of the value of the order.

THY's short-haul fleet consists of 28 737-400s and two -500s, all of which are on operating lease from GE Capital Aviation Services and International Lease Finance. They will be replaced by the new 737s.

The remainder of THY's fleet includes 14 Airbus A310-200/-300s, five Airbus A340-300s and 14 Avro RJs. The airline is seeking a medium-capacity type to replace its seven 12-year-old A310-200s. Boeing was initially believed to have been selected to supply its 777, but it is now thought that Airbus has emerged as the front runner with its A330-200, as Turkey is thought to be seeking leverage to become a full member of the European Union.

Source: Flight International