Turkish Airlines has finally announced an order for an additional 220 aircraft from Airbus.
Such a contract was seemingly signed before November when the 2023 Dubai airshow occurred but has since lacked a formal announcement.
Behind Turkish Airlines’ Three-Digit Aircraft Order
As part of a mission to expand its fleet, the airline has announced it’ll acquire 150 A321neo aircraft, Airbus’s best-selling aircraft, this year.
Meanwhile, a commitment to the A350 series extends with 70 units spread across three variants. Thanks to this, the airline will acquire 50 A350-900s and 15 A350-1000s, and for its Turkish Cargo division, it will receive 5 A350 Freighters.
The Airbus A350 Freighter is the European plane makers’ most recent addition to the broader A350 series. Additionally, it’s what Airbus hopes will substantially aid the company in competing with Boeing and their long-standing stronghold on the freight market. The A350F will go head to head-with Boeing’s newly announced 777-8F.
Turkish Airlines‘ total order book has reached 504 aircraft now. Airbus notes that 212 have already been delivered, but ultimately, this reaffirms Turkish Airlines’ goal to become one of the world’s leading airlines.
Turkish Airlines Ambitious Growth Plans
In recent months, Turkish Airlines unveiled sizeable expansion plans as it looked to grow its operations substantially across the next decade.
As part of these plans, key executives revealed an intent to fly 800+ aircraft by 2033. Additionally, it wanted to secure revenues of 50 billion annually while contributing an additional 140 billion to the Turkish Economy.
With the new aircraft arriving, the company hopes to expand its passenger network to over 400 destinations, with 170 million passengers carried annually by 2030.
To make all these routes, aircraft and expansion possible, the company expects to employ 150,000 across its mainline brand and all subsidiaries.
A commitment to a further 220 Airbus aircraft will substantially aid the airline and broader group in achieving these ambitions by 2033.
Comments From Executives
This landmark order is more than an expansion; it’s a testament to our dedication to innovation, operational excellence, and a sustainable future. The addition of these advanced Airbus aircraft to our fleet will not only enhance our operational capabilities but also significantly contribute to our environmental goals. This investment is a crucial milestone in the further evolution of Türkiye’s aviation industry. By modernising our fleet with more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft, we are reinforcing our leading position in global aviation and contributing to the nation’s prominence as an aviation hub.Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat
This order for the latest generation aircraft is a demonstration of the bold vision by Turkish Airlines. The A350-900, A350-1000, A350F and A321 will all be flagship aircraft in their respective category and efficiency drivers to shape the airline’s future and sustainable expansion, with more range, less fuel, noise and emissions and best cabin in class. The opening into the A350-1000 and the A350F highlights the cross-model value of the A350 family and reinforces our long-lasting partnership with Turkish Airlines and Türkiye’s aviation sector. We are proud to accompany Türkiye’s connection to the world with our state-of-the-art aircraft.Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.
New Aircraft Make New Flights Possible
Adding further Airbus A350s to the order book substantially eases pressure on existing aircraft types and makes new routes possible.
The airline has outlined a hopeful start date of 2024 as it looks to expand its network to compete with existing carriers offering service to Europe and onwards.
Turkish Airlines Fleet As 2024 Approaches
Turkish Airlines operates with a fleet of 320 in-service aircraft, per the latest data, with 22 jets in storage.
The airline’s most crucial fleet type, when measured by active units, is the Airbus A321, with 91 in-service aircraft. Included in this are 62 A321-200s and 29 A321neos currently flying.
Airbus’ A350 features just 16 active units; thanks to the new commitment, this is expected to grow tenfold as the A350 enables more long-range flying.
Additionally, as part of its widebody flying, the airline operates Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s and the Boeing 787.