TUI Looks at Major Order

Europe`s biggest leisure airline company, TUI, is reported to be talking with both Boeing of the US and Airbus about a major fleet order.

The German company, the world`s largest travel and tourism operator, which has charter operations in six countries and a recently launched low cost carrier, told the Financial Times that it was in talks with both manufacturers but did not reveal how many planes it might acquire.

The newspaper cited sources close to the company as saying the figure could be as high as 60 which, at list prices, would be valued at around EUR4 billion (USD$4.7 billion). However, both Boeing and Airbus would be expected to offer heavy discounts to win business.

TUI`s present fleet of nearly 100 aircraft are flown by charter companies Britannia Airways, UK, which also has a Swedish operation; Corsair, France; Hapag-Lloyd Flug, Germany; Neos, Italy and Polish carrier White Eagle.

Its German budget carrier Hapag-Lloyd Express, which was launched last year, flies Boeing 737 planes.