October 22, 2013 / 1:09 PM / 6 years ago

Turkish Airlines in talks on 2020-2023 plane order plans

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft is welcomed to Malta by a water arch at Malta International Airport outside Valletta May 25, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) is in talks with plane manufacturers over orders for 2020-2023, having placed orders for 274 planes up to 2020, the company’s chairman Hamdi Topcu said on Tuesday.

The Turkish flag carrier has been expanding rapidly in recent years in a bid to boost its share of the global market, placing large plane orders with both U.S. manufacturer Boeing (BA.N) and Europe’s Airbus EAD.PA.

Topcu told reporters it was not clear how many wide- and narrow-bodied planes would be ordered for between 2020-2023 and added Boeing had not made an offer regarding its long-awaited next generation 777X model.

Boeing is pushing its revamped 777X mini-jumbo to major long-haul carriers, a 400-seater designed to compete with the largest version of Airbus’s new A350.

In April, Turkish Airlines committed to buying 70 narrow-body planes worth $6.9 billion at list prices from Boeing by 2021. It has ordered a total of 32 of the current model of 777, the 777-300ER, of which 20 remain to be delivered.

Weeks earlier it said it would buy 117 narrow-body planes from Airbus, consisting of 25 A321-200 aircraft, four A320 NEO, 53 A321 NEO and an option for a further 35 A321 NEO.

The airline carried 39 million passengers last year and expects to reach 46 million this year, growing to 90 million by the end of 2020, it said.

It wants to generate annual sales of $18 billion within seven years, compared with sales of nearly $8 billion last year.

In the first nine months of this year its passenger numbers jumped 24 percent year-on-year to 36.2 million.

Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Mark Potter

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