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Turkish Airlines still in talks over big aircraft order

A Turkish Airlines plane takes off at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
A Turkish Airlines plane takes off at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Turkish Airlines is still in negotiations for an order for over 100 aircraft, a spokesman said, after a German report that a deal with Airbus had not come off during a trip by German chancellor Angela Merkel to Turkey.

Turkish Airlines wanted up to 120 of the European planemaker's A320 aircraft but held back from signing at the last minute after the airline said it wanted more Turkish suppliers to be involved, German magazine Focus reported without citing sources.

"Negotiations are still going on. And it's not right for us to comment on this issue at this stage," a spokesman for Turkish Airlines told Reuters on Saturday.

A spokesman for Airbus declined to comment.

Turkish Airlines plans to order more narrow-body planes after buying billions of dollars worth of larger models in 2012.

When budget carrier Pegasus Airlines placed its first order for Airbus jets in December, turning its back on Boeing , Turkey's transport minister had called on Airbus to contribute more to Turkey's aviation sector.

(Reporting by Evrim Ergin and Victoria Bryan; editing by Ron Askew)

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