Turkish Airlines to buy at least 50 Airbus and Boeing planes as Istanbul airport takes on Dubai

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Turkish Airlines to become a national champion. (Reuters)
Updated 10 March 2018
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Turkish Airlines to buy at least 50 Airbus and Boeing planes as Istanbul airport takes on Dubai

ISTANBUL: Turkish Airlines has confirmed plans to buy at least 50 wide-body aircraft from Airbus and Boeing as the flag carrier ramps up its ambitions ahead of a move to a new Istanbul airport.
The company said in a statement that it had agreed to buy 25 Boeing B787-9 aircraft, known as the Dreamliner, and 25 Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
In addition, it has the option to buy five more of each aircraft from both suppliers, meaning the eventual purchase could total 60 planes.
It said six would be delivered in 2019, 14 in 2020, 10 in 2021, 12 in 2022, 11 in 2023 and 7 in 2024.
Airbus indicated that the catalogue price of the 25 A350s alone would amount to $9.5 billion.
Turkish Airlines chief executive Ilker Ayci said that the announcement came after agreements signed during recent visits to France and the US — the homes of Airbus and Boeing — by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He hailed the deals as a “very important initiative to meet the need for wide-body aircraft at the new airport” and strengthen the fleet ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of modern Turkey in 2023.
“We believe this will not just accelerate the steady rise of Turkish Airlines, but also contribute to Turkish civil aviation as a whole,” Ayci said, quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
The government plans to open the new airport by Istanbul’s Black Sea coast on Oct. 29, hoping to make it a global hub that can compete with Dubai for transfer traffic.
Turkish Airlines, which is 49-percent owned by the government through a wealth fund, has grown exponentially in recent years in a rise strongly supported by Erdogan to create a national champion.
Passenger numbers have swelled from just 14 million in 2005 to 69 million in 2017.
And the airline is targeting a total of 74 million passengers in 2018 and wants to expand its fleet from 329 at present to 424 planes by 2023.


Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

Updated 17 December 2018
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Nissan meets to replace Ghosn, as tensions with Renault grow

  • The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive
  • The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary

TOKYO: The board of automaker Nissan meets Monday to discuss replacing former chairman Carlos Ghosn after his arrest for financial misconduct, as tensions grow in the firm’s alliance with Renault.
The Japanese company removed Ghosn from his post last month after he was detained on allegations of under-reporting his salary.
But it appears unlikely to agree Monday on a permanent replacement for him, in part because of open discord in its alliance with French automaker Renault.
Nissan itself faces charges for allegedly submitting financial documents that understated Ghosn’s pay, and Renault is now reportedly seeking more sway on the Japanese firm’s board.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Renault urged Nissan in a letter to hold a shareholders meeting to discuss Renault’s representation on the firm’s nine-member board and within its top management.
It warned that Nissan’s indictment “creates significant risks to Renault, as Nissan’s largest shareholder, and to the stability of our industrial alliance,” the Journal reported.
A source with knowledge of the issue confirmed that Nissan had received the letter and was planning an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in January.
Renault’s letter is the latest sign of the tensions in the alliance that groups the firm with Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors — a partnership that Ghosn forged and was often credited with holding together.
While Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors quickly removed Ghosn from leadership positions after his arrest, Renault has kept the auto executive on as CEO and chairman.
And while Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa launched a broadside against his former mentor shortly after his arrest, describing his “dark side,” Renault has approached the allegations more cautiously.
The decision on replacing Ghosn at Nissan is being led by an advisory committee that includes a former Renault executive, and Japanese media reports suggested it was unlikely to reach a decision on Monday.
“It slows things down, but it isn’t the end of the world,” a source close to the issue told AFP.
“We need to let them talk and decide properly. That’s more important than rushing.”
The company is instead likely to announce new governance measures intended to address criticism that it failed to prevent Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
As his former employer wrangles over his replacement, Ghosn remains in the one-man cell at a Tokyo detention center he has occupied since his shock arrest on November 19.
Prosecutors have already charged him with under-reporting his pay by around $44 million over the five years to 2015, and are also investigating claims he under-reported it further in the last three years.
He will be detained until at least December 20, when prosecutors will either file new charges or request another 10-day detention period while they continue investigations.
A range of additional claims of financial misconduct have been made against Ghosn, including using Nissan funds to purchase homes around the world, though prosecutors have yet to level those accusations formally.
He and his former right-hand man Greg Kelly, who is also under arrest, reportedly deny any wrongdoing.
The charges have sparked a legal battle over Ghosn’s flat in Rio de Janeiro, with Nissan trying to prevent his family members from accessing the property and removing items.
A Brazilian court authorized relatives to access the apartment, despite claims from Nissan that they were removing corporate documents.
Ghosn’s arrest marked a stunning reversal of fortune for the Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon, once revered in Japan for effectively rescuing Nissan from insolvency.
He helped engineer the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, creating a partnership that sold more cars than any other globally last year.