Turkish Air Cool on Loaned Malaysia A380s as Routes the Priority

Turkish Airlines said it’s not interested in leasing Airbus Group SE A380 superjumbos from Malaysian Airlines as it prioritizes adding routes over raw capacity.

The world’s biggest jetliner doesn’t fit with the Istanbul-based carrier’s strategy of expanding from 1,200 to 2,000 flights a day, a priority requiring rapid fleet growth, Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil said.

“It’s a nice airplane, but I need frequencies,” Kotil said Tuesday in an interview at the Paris Air Show, adding that Turkish Air -- or Turk Hava Yollari AO -- is no longer looking at using A380s deemed surplus to requirement by Malaysian.

The Asian operator has struggled to fill its six double deckers following two air disasters last year. Operating the A380 could have given Turkish Air more clout in its rivalry with the three major Gulf carriers -- Emirates, Qatar Airways Ltd. and Etihad Airways PJCS -- which all deploy the model.

Turkish will have 450 jets by 2023, compared with 263 planes now and about 300 by the end of the year. Chairman Hamdi Topcu said in February that the airline was considering the Malaysian A380s, as well as Boeing Co.’s 747-8 jumbo.