Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines said Tuesday that it had ordered up to 100 Airbus passenger jets, the biggest order ever by a Turkish airline and the first time Pegasus has not placed its orders with Airbus rival Boeing.
Pegagus chairman Ali Sabanci told a press conference in Istanbul that the airline had placed a firm order for 75 planes and taken options on 25 others from the Airbus A320 series.
The deal will carry a catalogue price of $12 billion (9.1 billion euros), though large orders are routinely signed at discounts.
The purchase includes Airbus A-320 Neo and bigger A-321 Neo planes, which are the latest, more fuel-efficient versions of the group's best-selling single aisle, short- to medium-range airliner.
Pegasus is thus set to become the first Turkish airline to operate the A320 neo plane, which is to be equipped with new engines and "sharklet" wing tips that provide substantial fuel savings.
Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy was quoted by a statement as saying that the new aircraft would "cut fuel burn by 15 percent" while offering the proven reliability of a model already being operated widely around the world.
Sabanci added that such savings by the Airbus airliner along with "superior cabin comfort made it without a doubt the best choice for achieving our ambitious future development plans."
The aircraft are to be deployed on flights from Istanbul to other Turkish cities as well as destinations in Europe and the Middle East, a Pegasus statement said.
Pegagus currently operates 42 Boeing planes, and serves 24 destinations in Turkey and 38 others abroad.
The airline also owns 12.02 percent of the voting rights in the Germany low-cost airline Air Berlin, making Pegasus the German airline's second-biggest shareholder.