Turkish Airlines Won’t Be Taking Doric Superjumbos, CEO Says

Turkish Airlines said it won’t be taking any of the 20 Airbus SAS A380 aircraft which leasing company Doric Asset Finance Ltd. plans to buy, even as it evaluates a potential requirement for the superjumbo model.

The carrier, which will more than double its fleet by the start of next decade even without an A380 order, would prefer to purchase the double-decker outright from the manufacturer, Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil said today in an interview.

“They will not be for us,” Kotil said of the A380s with a list price of $8.1 billion that London-based Doric announced yesterday it would acquire from Airbus. “Somebody back in the office asked this too, but it’s not what we do.”

Kotil said it’s in any case “too soon” for Turkish Airlines to be thinking seriously about a superjumbo deal after ordering 117 single-aisle planes from Airbus and 95 from Boeing Co. to bolster its fleet of around 220 airliners.

“It is time to work those aircraft before we order any more,” Kotil said at the Paris Air Show.

Doric, which has 18 A380s in service with Singapore Airlines Ltd. and Dubai-based Emirates, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus to more than double the number of superjumbos on its books.

The lessor’s CEO, Mark Lapidus, said after the announcement that he’s looking at placing the planes with existing or new customers and has “one or two” options in mind.

Turkish Airlines, as Turk Hava Yollari AO is known, had said previously that it was considering as many as six A380s to help build Istanbul into a global hub. Chairman Hamdi Topcu has said the Boeing 747-8 is also in the running.

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