ISTANBUL, TÜRKİYE — In May, Turkish Airlines announced that it would take delivery of six Airbus A350s initially intended for the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot. The first two A350s have joined the Turkish carrier's fleet and are in service on the airline's international routes.

Istanbul instead of Moscow, TC-LGJ instead of VP-BYE. In the spring of this year, things changed fundamentally for the Airbus A350 with the factory serial number MSN 463.

The brand-new aircraft was actually intended for Russia's Aeroflot, but thanks to the sanctions in the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine, Aeroflot is no longer allowed to receive new aircraft from the West. Instead, Turkish Airlines will take over those six A350-900s from Aeroflot's order book with the European planemaker. Four of them are already completely finished.

Airbus handed over the first aircraft to Turkish on July 7. One day later, the second A350 (MSN 457) took off from Toulouse for Istanbul. It now has the registration number TC-LGI instead of Aeroflot's VP-BXS.

Both A350s were deployed on the airline's international routes after a few domestic rounds from Istanbul to Dalaman and back. TC-LGJ carried out its first flight to Casablanca on July 10. Two days later, Zurich Airport became the first destination in Europe. TC-LGI made its first flight to the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, on July 11.

The aircraft with factory serial MSN 471, which is expected to join the Turkish fleet as the third Aeroflot A350, was last spotted in Toulouse with a mixed livery. Turkish Airlines lettering on Aeroflot's basic livery. The aircraft made its first flight in Toulouse on June 29. It currently operates with the test registration number F-WZGB. It will be registered as TC-LGK upon its arrival in Istanbul.

The fourth (MSN 493) made its maiden flight on July 6 and will be registered as TC-LGL by Turkish Airlines.