UPDATE – Turkish Airlines has announced the first part of its anticipated large aircraft order by ordering ten Airbus A350-900s, the airline said in a stock exchange filing on September 1. The aircraft will be delivered between 2025 and 2027.
The A350s are additional to the 26 -900s Turkish Airlines already has on order. Fourteen have been delivered, with the last one joining the airline in July. Six more are due within the next few months and are currently being prepared for transfer to Turkish. These are aircraft originally ordered by Aeroflot, but ‘undeliverable’ following the sanctions on Russia after the war in Ukraine. Airbus said on September 6 that there has been another order announcement for four aircraft in August, but there is no release of that. Total A350 orders from Turkish Airlines now stand at forty, the airframer says.
The latest order is in line with the bold growth strategy of Turkish, which plans to double in size by 2033 and carry 171 million passengers with a fleet of 818 aircraft. Of these, 170-175 are in the category of medium-sized widebodies like the A350 and Boeing 787-9, so expect Turkish Airlines to announce further orders.
The airline is also expected to order 20-25 large widebodies, which could be a mix of A350-1000s and Boeing 777-9s. The biggest chunk of the order will be for some 400 narrowbodies, both the Airbus A320neo family and Boeing MAX.
As reported, Turkish said on August 10 in the Q2 earnings call that it expected to announce the mega-order soon. An announcement was expected in June on the sidelines of the IATA AGM Istanbul, but CEO Ahmet Bolat said that his airline needed more time to sort out the deals with the engine makers and would only announce the order in some two months. This indicated August, but Turkish wasn’t ready then as more negotiations with the engine manufacturers were continuing.
The latest A350 deal is a straightforward one from that perspective, as the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 is the only engine available on this aircraft.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.