The Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have welcomed a deal for Airbus to provide 15 new A330 planes to Turkish Airlines, which is expected to be worth at least £400m to the UK.
It is Turkish Airlines’ twentieth order from Airbus, with the latest aircraft to be operated on medium and long haul routes from its hub in Istanbul.
With the merger discussions between Airbus owner EADS and BAE Systems having been terminated yesterday, with both companies laying the blame firmly at the feet of the German government, the Prime Minister was quick to show his support for the British aerospace sector.
Despite EADS being a European business, Mr Cameron said that the deal “proves how British business can succeed in the global race, by linking up with one of the world’s fastest growing economies to secure valuable contracts.”
Dr Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, commented that the efficiency, reliability and passenger appeal the A330 led to the latest order, saying that it will allow the airline to “continue our strategy of growth and fleet renewal.”
Airbus aircraft share cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers. This brings operational flexibility and results in cost savings.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was on a trade visit to Turkey last week and commented on the opportunities for UK businesses in the country.
The Government hopes to double trade between the UK and Turkey by 2015.
Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said that the government has “identified Turkey as one of the emerging powers with which the UK wants to strengthen its relationship, reflecting Turkey’s impressive economic performance and opportunities for British business. ”
This weekend Turkey will host the Istanbul World Forum, which brings together heads of governments, academics, businesspeople, NGO leaders, artists, authors and media personalities from around the world.