Turkish Airlines is looking to add two Boeing 777 and two Airbus A330 cargo aircraft to its fleet, while a decision on purchasing 787 and A350 XWB passenger airliners is expected next year.

"At the moment, we have four Airbus A310 aircraft for cargo - we want to increase capacity by adding more long-range freighters," says Turkish Airlines chairman Candan Karlitekin.

"Turkish Airlines needs new-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft - we are looking for two Boeing 777 and two Airbus A330 freighters. Turkish operates 777s and A330s. So adding both two types will not cost too much." No date has been given for the acquisition.

Karlitekin adds the long-term decision on long-haul aircraft replacement will be made next year. "Our aim is to shape the fleet of Turkish Airlines in 2023," he says.

"We have solved the mid-term needs by giving orders to Boeing for 777s and to Airbus for A330s. We are still discussing the 787 and A350 XWB - the decision is planned in 2010. Both the 787 and A350 XWB have an equal chance."

Including options, Turkish is planning on a minimum of 20 long-range aircraft orders.

The Istanbul-based carrier is also leasing two 737-700s from Celestial Aviation Trading in a six-year deal that will see the aircraft used for its low-cost subsidiary Anadolu Jet.

The budget carrier operates to 20 Turkish destinations and plans to start international routes by 2011.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news