Airbus Wins $9.3 Billion Turkish Airlines Deal for A320 Jets

Airbus SAS won an order from Turkish Airlines for 82 A320-series planes worth $9.3 billion at list prices, capping a week in which it also sealed a deal from Deutsche Lufthansa AG for 100 of the single-aisle jets.

Turkish Airlines, as Turk Hava Yollari AO is known, agreed to buy 25 A321 planes, together with 53 re-engined Neo versions of the same model and four A320neos, the company said today in a statement. Deliveries are due to commence in 2015.

Europe’s fastest-growing network carrier is seeking to expand the fleet to 375 planes by 2020, including cargo models, as it builds its Istanbul base into a hub for intercontinental flights. The company also has options for 35 more A321neos.

For Airbus, today’s contract takes the Neo backlog above 2,000 jets, according to John Leahy, the Toulouse, France-based company’s chief operating officer and head salesman. The deal represents the third time in four months Airbus has won A320 orders from a carrier that operates Boeing Co.’s competing 737.

While Turkish Airlines already has 75 Airbus single-aisle jets, it also has 89 of the U.S. planes. The carrier plans to keep its 737s and is looking at placing an order with Boeing, spokesman Ali Genc said, without specifying the number or model.

Engines Later

The engine choice for the new Airbus planes will be determined later, it said.

Turkish Air had said previously that it was considering the purchase of as many as six Airbus A380 superjumbos as it seeks to exploit the geographical position of Istanbul to lure transfer traffic between Europe and Asia from carriers including from Air France-KLM Group and British Airways.

Its biggest plane is currently Boeing’s 777-300ER, which has about 330 seats. The wide-body passenger fleet also features Airbus A340s and A330s, according to its website.

Shares of Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. traded 1.5 percent lower at 41.33 euros as of 2:01 p.m. in Paris. Boeing was up 0.4 percent at $84.98 in New York. Turkish Airlines was unchanged at 7.36 liras in Istanbul.

Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines agreed in December to buy 75 A320neos with options for 25 more, having previously built its fleet around the 737. The deal has a value of $12 billion, including the options.

Airbus also won a tentative $2.8 billion order from Hawaiian Airlines in January for 16 A321neos plus nine options, dislodging Boeing as its sole single-aisle supplier.

Lufthansa’s order yesterday comprised 70 A320neos or A321neos, plus 30 planes with the current engine option.

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