Turkish Airlines could be in the market for aircraft at the Paris Air Show

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PARIS – Turkish Airlines could be in the market for aircraft at the Paris Air Show this week, following a 24-plane Airbus order from Qatar Airways on Monday, industry sources said.

Any deals are expected to be separate from a tender for 105 aircraft launched by the airline in October last year.

The airline, one of Europe’s fastest growing carriers, bought five Boeing 777 wide-body planes last month but this was not part of the main tender, the sources said.

This prompted speculation of a deal with Airbus.

Turkish Airlines said in October it would order up to 105 Boeing and Airbus planes worth over $6 billion at list prices.

The carrier, partly owned by the Turkish state, said it had invited the planemakers to bid for the tender of 105 aircraft, including options for 30 planes.

It said it would place a firm order for 25 wide-body, long-haul planes and 50 narrow-body, medium-haul aircraft. It would also place options for 10 wide-body and 20 narrow-body aircraft.

Last October’s fleet expansion plans came as the industry struggled with high energy prices, the birth of a global financial crisis and nervousness among consumers.

Passenger traffic has fallen steeply since October and new business at this year’s Paris Air Show is scarce so far.

In the only deal for Airbus and Boeing on day one, Qatar Airways earlier ordered 24 Airbus single-aisle planes worth $1.9 billion, down sharply from the $25 billion spent by Gulf airlines on day one of the equivalent air show at Farnborough, in the UK, a year ago.