Airline expansions are always fascinating. However large or small, they provide us with the opportunity to get an insight into the outlook for an airline. At Turkish Airlines, their plans are bold and big, following the outlining of a new strategy and business targets looking ahead. Turkey’s rise as a popular travel destination and fundamental part of the world, the airline says, can be attributed to the continued expansion of Turkish Airlines.
The airline revealed a host of bullet point form goals that they hope will be achieved by 2033, a 10-year plan essentially that’ll form the airline’s future. Notably, the airline wants to secure revenues of 50 billion annually. It intends to contribute an additional 140 billion in revenue to the Turkish economy. In addition, they wish to expand their fleet from 435 aircraft to well over 800. Through this fleet expansion, the goal is to have a network of over 400 passenger destinations.
Additionally, they want to carry 170 million passengers compared to the current 85 million while reaching 150,000 employees within their own company and including all their various subsidiaries. The airline also targets sustainability and much more. However, it’s the fleet and route expansion that I feel really should be the focus. Turkish Airlines is not planning a minor expansion as they look to almost double their fleet.
So, let’s talk fleet. 300+ new aircraft will be required, and a quick look at what the airline expects doesn’t bring that total close to 800. So, for Turkish Airlines, their next move will need to be securing aircraft orders and delivery slots by 2033 and given the demand for new aircraft across the board, these will have to be placed somewhat soon. As for what they select, well, it’ll no doubt be a mix, but mainly for most, the more exciting will be the widebodies that’ll be selected. Turkish already flies the 777, 787 and A350. So, they’re well equipped and have spread their business far and wide.
There will only be so many of those nearby destinations to Turkey when talking about their upcoming route network. This comes especially with goals to expand to over 400 destinations. There’s been a lot of talk about launching to Australia, among other untapped markets for the carrier, and to do so, more widebodies will be required. History suggests that committing to aircraft they’re already flying makes sense for maintenance, crew training and commonality.
Can Turkish Airlines achieve such a goal? Or is this just a ploy to win people over? Let’s see what the future holds.