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Turkish Airlines' BOD decided to add a total of 117 Airbus to its fleet between 2015 and 2020. 82 of the total orders are firm, while the remaining 35 are optional. 25 of the orders are A321-200 type aircraft, while four of them are A320 (New Engine Option) NEO and 88 of them are A312 NEO.
Our opinion: We welcome management's decision to improve the company's narrow-body fleet. The addition of new generation aircraft will lower the average age of the aircraft and result in cost efficiencies, such as lower oil costs and/or maintenance expense per ASK. Reportedly, NEO type aircraft can supply 15% lower unit fuel costs and 8% lower unit operational expenses. We expect the announcement to have a limited impact on share price in the short-term as it is relatively a long-term positive, which justifies the company's growth prospects.
Temel Kotil, Turkish Airlines' CEO, said that they made a good start to 2013 and emphasized the improvement in the load factor (i.e. ~475bps). Kotil reiterated the company's 2013 targets (i.e. 46mn pax; USD9.7bn in revenues and the launch of new 30 destinations). Kotil also stressed their willingness to grow as well as their intention to utilize Sabiha Gokcen (i.e the second airport in Istanbul located on the Anatolian side) more, while the construction of new airport continues. Finally, Kotil made comments on their recent decision to acquire 117 Airbus models and said that they might consider a bond issue to finance the acquisition.
Our opinion: Kotil's comments are broadly a reiteration of his prior comments and are in line with the previously announced 2013e guidance. We do not think management will need to issue a bond to finance the aircraft purchases as their current financing deals are already quite favorable (i.e. as low as ~1.5% USD fixed rate). We expect the comments to have a limited impact on share price.
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