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Turkish Airlines to buy at least 50 Airbus, Boeing jets

AFP  |  Istanbul 

has confirmed plans to buy at least 50 wide-body aircraft from and as the up its ambitions ahead of a move to a new airport.

The company said in a statement late yesterday that it had agreed to buy 25 B787-9 aircraft, known as the Dreamliner, and 25 A350-900 aircraft.

In addition, it has the option to buy five more of each aircraft from both suppliers, meaning the eventual purchase could total 60 planes.

It said six would be delivered in 2019, 14 in 2020, 10 in 2021, 12 in 2022, 11 in 2023 and 7 in the year 2024.

A statement by indicated that the catalogue price of the 25 alone would amount to USD 9.5 billion.

chief executive said that the announcement came after agreements signed during recent visits to and the -- the homes of Airbus and -- by

He hailed the deals as a "very important initiative to meet the need for wide-body aircraft at the new airport" and strengthen the fleet ahead of in 2023.

"We believe this will not just accelerate the steady rise of Turkish Airlines, but also contribute to Turkish civil as a whole," Ayci said, quoted by the Anadolu agency.

The government plans to open the new airport by Istanbul's coast on October 29, hoping to make it a global hub that can compete with for transfer traffic.

Turkish Airlines, which is 49-percent owned by the government through a wealth fund, has grown exponentially in recent years in a rise strongly supported by Erdogan to create a national champion.

Passenger numbers have swelled from just 14 million in 2005 to 69 million in 2017.

And the is targeting a total 74 million passengers in 2018 and wants to expand its fleet from 329 at present to 424 planes by 2023.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 17:15 IST