The chief executive of Turkish Airlines has called for Boeing to consider installing new engines in its 737 aircraft rather than waiting for a new plane that won’t be ready until the end of the decade.
Seattle-based Boeing is aiming towards building an all-new single-aisle plane that it aims to become the workhorse of its global aviation fleet.
However the aerospace giant also has the option to improve its existing aircraft with advanced new engines offering better fuel and environmental performance.
Turkish Airlines is a key Boeing customer that relies on the single-aisle planes.
Temel Kotil, THY’s chief executive, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Boeing should consider the new engine option. Kotil, an aeronautical engineer, said new engines were key factors in improving the performance of single-aisle aircraft.
His call comes as Rolls-Royce is set to bow to airline pressure by building a new engine for the Airbus A350.
The plan would involve a major overhaul of Rolls-Royce’s largest civil jet engine and give the Airbus A350 some missing muscle to compete with Boeing’s long-range 777-300ER.
Turkish Airlines has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines and now ranks as Europe’s fourth-largest by passenger numbers. This was reflected in it winning “Europe’s Leading Airline 2010” at World Travel Awards.
Kotil aims to make it the largest by destinations, adding another 11 this year and expanding the fleet to 201 planes by 2014.
The airline is exploiting the geographical position of its Istanbul hub to channel passengers from Europe, the Americas and Asia through the Middle East and Africa.
Turkish Airlines’ international transfer traffic through Istanbul has risen 352 percent between 205 and 2010.
He also said Turkey’s potential entry to the European Union would benefit the carrier and even open the way for it to launch services within the region.