Turkish Airlines remains in talks with Boeing and engine manufacturers as it still hopes to seal an order for 225 aircraft.

The Star Alliance carrier had this time last year been hoping to complete major aircraft deals with both Airbus and Boeing for a mix of narrwobodies and widebodies to meet its long-term plan to double the size of its fleet over the next decade.

Turkish Ahmet Bolat

Source: BillyPix

Bolat: ”Airbus slots were important, so we secured early slots by our order”

Turkish Airlines did at the end of last year complete a deal for the Airbus portion of the order, covering 150 A321neos and 70 A350s – including five freighters – plus options. However, it is still to close an order with Boeing, having previously flagged issues around striking a deal for engines as complicating the situation.

Speaking during a media roundtable on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Dubai today, Turkish Airlines chair Ahmet Bolat said talks with Boeing are advanced but again highlights that it must also reach agreement on the engines.

“The Airbus you can choose the [Pratt & Whitney] GTF or the [CFM International] Leap, you don’t have to rush, you can wait out the developments with the Pratt & Whitney [GTF issue] and wait to see how CFM puts itself in the market with the cost and so on. But Airbus slots were important so we secured early slots by placing our order.

”With the Max there is only one engine, the CFM engine. So the Max decision depends on CFM prices, that will take a little longer,” he says.

The Boeing portion of the order would cover 150 Max jets and 75 Boeing 787s. 

“With our current fleet and what we ordered from Airbus, we can reach this 810 aircraft if we don’t replace any old aircraft,” Bolat says, adding this portion of the order could also go to Airbus as ”the products are similar”.

However, he adds: “As Turkish, we want to split the risks because right now Boeing has some production problems, but it might happen to Airbus some time. So that is why we want to reduce the risks by using both products available in the market.”

Turkish Airlines and its low-cost unit AJet already have a mixed fleet of both Airbus and Boeing types, covering 455 aircraft.