DUBAI, June 4 (Reuters) – Turkish Airlines is advancing talks with Boeing for 150 737 MAX narrow-body jets and 75 widebody 787 planes, but a final decision hinges on engine price negotiations, Chairman Ahmet Bolat said on Tuesday.

In April, the carrier said it was negotiating with both Airbus and Boeing to buy 235 aircraft as part of its expansion plans, after placing an order for 355 jets with the European planemaker in December.

Talks are advancing with Boeing, even as Airbus remains in the race, but a final decision will depend on better pricing for CFM’s LEAP engines, the sole provider for the 737 MAX planes, and production slots at the planemakers.

“We could announce the Boeing order earlier but there is an engine issue. A decision depends on CFM’s prices and that is why it will take a little longer,” Bolat said, speaking on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual meet in Dubai.

Bolat said the airline has made a counter proposal to CFM, a joint venture between GE is waiting to hear back.

With Airbus’ narrowbody planes, the airline has an option to take engines either from CFM or Pratt & Whitney, he said.

The talks with Boeing come when the plane maker is engulfed in a sprawling safety crisis made worse by a January mid-air panel blowout on a near-new 737 MAX plane.

The company is facing investigations by U.S. regulators, possible prosecution for past actions and slumping production of its strongest-selling 737 MAX jet.

Bolat, however, said he was confident Boeing will solve its problems, and that the planemaker was taking “strong steps and measures”.

Turkish placed the 355-planes order with Airbus because it wanted to secure the fast-filling production slots, and even as the planemaker is still a contender for the new order, he wants to work with both manufacturers.

“We want to mitigate the risks by using both products available in the market,” he said, adding that Turkish has plans to grow its fleet to 810 planes in 10 years from 455 today.

“We know the position of Airbus, we know the price, the selling conditions and also the slots. We will go with whichever one gives the slots, prices and also the engine is very important,” Bolat said.

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir