Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 Order: What About The Rest?

Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 Order: What About The Rest?
Photo Credit: Airbus.

This week saw Turkish Airlines place an order for 10 Airbus A350 aircraft. In the context of previous announcements about a 600-strong order, what about the rest?

Such an order takes the total to 40 A350-900s on order, with the carrier already operating a fleet of 14 at the time of writing.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Airbus’ Sales Chief: Pleased About Turkish Airlines Enlarging Airbus A350 Fleet…

Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 Order: What About The Rest?
Photo Credit: Emil Bree/AviationSource

Commenting on the deal was Airbus’ sales chief Christian Scherer, who expressed delight over Turkish Airlines enlarging its A350 order:

“We are delighted that Turkish Airlines has decided to further enlarge its fleet with the purchase of 10 more A350-900 aircraft.”

“With greater range capability, passenger capacity and comfort, the A350 is the perfect platform to connect Istanbul to the world.”

“This repeat order demonstrates the confidence for our unique new generation aircraft that offers airlines unbeatable economics and efficiency.”

“We are proud to keep expanding our long-lasting partnership with Turkish Airlines and Türkiye’s aviation sector overall.”

What About The 600-Strong Order That Was Supposed to be Made?

Turkish Airlines Airbus A350 Order: What About The Rest?
Photo Credit: Airbus.

Back in May this year, Turkish Airlines revealed that it was going to make a record-breaking order for airplanes, with this totalling 600 units.

At the time, the Chairman Ahmet Bolat said the following to journalists:

“For the last 20 years, Turkish Airlines has grown 12% on average. For the next 10 years, we are intending to grow to 7.6% and to reach 813 aircraft in 2033″.

“During the IATA event, we’re going to announce all this with one of the big manufacturers. We have almost finished discussions with them.”

“So we are going to order around 600 aircraft, around 200 will be widebody and 400 narrowbody.”

It looked as if part of the order would have been announced at the IATA AGM in Istanbul at the start of June, with the other chunk at the Paris Air Show, a few weeks afterwards.

Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

However, by the middle of August, the Head of Investor Relations Mehmet Faith Korkmaz changed his tune, hinting at a significant delay to the big order:

“While we are trying to decide on which aircraft type to place, we are also very close to investigating which engine types to get and which kind of a maintenance contract to get in addition to it.”

“That’s the reason why we have not announced any decision yet.”

This then fuelled further doubt into the Pratt & Whitney side of equation, which is responsible for powering the Airbus A320neo Family.

Back in June, it was revealed that the airline had grounded four A321neo aircraft due to issues with the PW1100G-JM engines.

The carrier has signed a leasing deal with CDB Aviation for six 737 MAX 8 aircraft this year, but of course, it doesn’t scratch the surface in terms of the overall long term plans for fleet growth going into the future.


Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Looking ahead, it remains clear that this blockbuster 600-strong aircraft won’t be happening for some time, whilst Turkish Airlines assesses its options.

In the meantime, orders like we have seen this week for 10 Airbus A350-900s are representative of the short-term growth that the carrier is expected to receive.

All eyes will no doubt be on manufacturers to ease any concerns or considerations that its future customers will have when ordering aircraft.

Because ultimately, you need the propulsion to get into the air.

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