Turkish Airlines to expand its wide-body fleet
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines will add a total of 60 wide-body aircraft to its fleet in the next six years, the company said on March 9.
In a statement sent to Turkey’s Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), Turkish Airlines said it has decided to purchase 50 firm and 10 optional wide-body aircraft, of which six are to be delivered in 2019, 14 in 2020, 10 in 2021, 12 in 2022, 11 in 2023 and seven in 2024.
“A total of 30 B787-9 aircraft, of which 25 are firm and five optional, will be purchased from Boeing and a total of 30 A350-900 aircraft, of which 25 firm and five optional will be purchased from Airbus,” the airline said.
It recalled that a deal with Airbus was signed in January in Paris, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s official visit to France. Also in September, Turkish Airlines announced a commitment with Boeing to purchase 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
İlker Aycı, chairman of Turkish Airlines, said the purchase will bring a landmark benefit not only to Turkish Airlines, but also to Turkey’s aviation.
“Goodwill agreements turned into firm order, which we consider to be a very important initiative to meet our need for wide-body aircraft at Istanbul’s new airport, which will serve as our new hub once its construction process is completed,” Aycı said.
The first phase of Istanbul’s new airport is expected to be opened this year, according to Turkish officials. When it is fully completed, around 250 airlines are set to fly from the airport to more than 350 destinations — making it one of the world’s largest air hubs — with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers.