August 9, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Turkish Airlines eyes airport stake, CEO says

(Adds CEO quote, Q2 results details)

ISTANBUL, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Turkish Airlines is interested in acquiring a stake in an airport operator in its core business area but has not settled on a specific airport, the company’s chief executive Ilker Ayci said on Thursday.

Local aviation news outlet Airporthaber on Thursday reported that the flag carrier, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, agreed to buy Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, the second-largest in Turkey, from Malasia Airports for $1.2 billion.

Ayci declined to comment on the report.

“We are interested in airport operator shares within our core business domain,” Ayci said in a webcast after the company released its second-quarter results.

The airline, which aims to carry 75 million passengers this year, recorded a net profit of $127 million in the second quarter compared to $61 million loss a year ago, the company said in a statement.

In June, sources told Reuters that Turkish Airlines is in talks with some dozen banks to secure up to $1 billion financing to construct its facilities in Istanbul’s new airport.

Istanbul’s third airport, which Turkey says will become one of the biggest in the world, is slated to open on Oct. 29.

The firm revised its revenue guidance for 2018 to $12.5 billion from $11.8 billion and said more than 80 percent of its income is in U.S. dollars and Euros.

$1 = 5.4736 liras Reporting by Ceyda Caglayan Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun Editing by Ece Toksabay

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