'No need' for Airbus A380 yet, says Turkish Airlines CEO

Bilal Eksi said carrier is considering deal for 40 more aircraft before year-end
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 21 Nov 2017 09:25 AM

Turkish Airlines currently sees “no need” for the Airbus 380, but is open to evaluating the airline’s requirement for the aircraft in the future, according to CEO and Vice Chairman Bilal Ekşi.

In an interview with Arabian Business, Ekşi said that “as of today, we have no such need” but said that the airline will “evaluate the situation” following the opening of Istanbul’s third airport, which is currently under construction and is slated for inauguration in late October 2018.

According to Turkish officials, once completed the airport will be able to accommodate 150 million passengers per year.

The future of the A380 was a major talking point at this year’s Dubai Airshow, after Airbus failed to clinch a widely expected deal with Emirates on the first day of the event. Instead, Emirates announced an accord with Boeing for 40 787 Dreamliners that had been competing with Airbus’s A350 wide-body.

Ekşi added that at the moment Turkish Airlines is exploring the possibility of purchasing at least 40 additional aircraft, which will either 787-9 Dreamliners or Airbus A350s.

“We have sent RFPs (requests for proposals) to the two manufacturing companies, and they are preparing those proposals for us,” he said. “We’ll finalise the RFPs by the end of this year.”

In September, Turkish Airlines and Boeing announced that the airline intends to purchase 40 787-9s in a deal that, when finalised, would be worth $11 billion at list prices.

Hours after the announcement, Turkish Airlines also reportedly sought prices for up to 40 wide-body A350-900 aircraft.

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