Turkey's Pegasus may make big Airbus order-sources

PARIS Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:09am EST

PARIS Dec 17 (Reuters) - Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines appears close to making its first purchase of European passenger jets with an order for as many as 100 Airbus A320-family aircraft, sources familiar with the matter said.

The decision to switch suppliers by a fast-growing airline that currently operates only Boeing jets follows a tough contest between the world's two largest planemakers.

Initial negotiations for 50 medium-haul jets between Pegasus and the manufacturers were first reported by Reuters in July and were seen as a flashpoint in one of the fiercest market share battles between Airbus and Boeing for a decade.

Airbus and Pegasus declined to comment on Monday.

If confirmed, the Istanbul-based airline's final purchase could reach as many as 100 aircraft worth more than $9 billion at list prices, the sources said, asking not to be named.

Founded in 1990, Pegasus has grown its fleet from just two aircraft to more than 40 mostly Boeing 737-800s over the past two decades and serves 52 destinations in 24 countries.

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