Turkish Airlines in talks on 2020-2023 plane order plans

Reuters

* Airline has ordered 274 planes by 2020

* Chairman says Boeing has not made offer on 777X

By Evrim Ergin

ISTANBUL, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Turkish Airlines isin talks with plane manufacturers over orders for 2020-2023,having placed orders for 274 planes up to 2020, the company'schairman Hamdi Topcu said on Tuesday.

The Turkish flag carrier has been expanding rapidly inrecent years in a bid to boost its share of the global market,placing large plane orders with both U.S. manufacturer Boeing and Europe's Airbus.

Topcu told reporters it was not clear how many wide- andnarrow-bodied planes would be ordered for between 2020-2023 andadded Boeing had not made an offer regarding its long-awaitednext generation 777X model.

Boeing is pushing its revamped 777X mini-jumbo to majorlong-haul carriers, a 400-seater designed to compete with thelargest version of Airbus's new A350.

In April, Turkish Airlines committed to buying 70narrow-body planes worth $6.9 billion at list prices from Boeingby 2021. It has ordered a total of 32 of the current model of777, the 777-300ER, of which 20 remain to be delivered.

Weeks earlier it said it would buy 117 narrow-body planesfrom Airbus, consisting of 25 A321-200 aircraft, four A320 NEO,53 A321 NEO and an option for a further 35 A321NEO.

The airline carried 39 million passengers last year andexpects to reach 46 million this year, growing to 90 million bythe end of 2020, it said.

It wants to generate annual sales of $18 billion withinseven years, compared with sales of nearly $8 billion last year.

In the first nine months of this year its passenger numbersjumped 24 percent year-on-year to 36.2 million.

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