Key Points:

  • Turkish Airlines places an order for ten Airbus A350-900s, set for delivery between 2025 and 2027.

  • The company's aggressive growth strategy targets to double in size by 2033, with a fleet projection of 818 aircraft.

  • Earlier mega-order announcement was postponed due to extended negotiations with engine manufacturers.

Anticipated Mega-Order by Turkish Airliner: A350s and Beyond

ISTANBUL — On September 1, in a stock exchange declaration, Turkish Airlines unveiled the initial phase of its eagerly awaited major aircraft acquisition by confirming an order for ten Airbus A350-900s. Scheduled between 2025 and 2027, these new aircraft will be added to the airline's expanding fleet.

This recent procurement complements an existing order of 26 A350-900s by the airliner. Up till now, Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of 14 of these aircraft, with the most recent being incorporated in July. Additionally, preparations are underway to incorporate six more of these planes, which were initially slated for Aeroflot. However, due to sanctions imposed on Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict, the delivery to Aeroflot was deemed unfeasible.

Aligned with Turkish Airlines' ambitious expansion roadmap, the airline aspires to amplify its scale by two-fold come 2033. This vision encompasses ferrying 171 million passengers across an impressive fleet of 818 aircraft. A sizable portion, roughly 170-175 aircraft, of this proposed fleet will fall into the medium-sized widebody category, akin to the A350 and Boeing 787-9. Consequently, more announcements regarding order placements by Turkish Airlines are anticipated.

Speculation is rife about the airline's impending order of 20-25 large widebody aircraft. This batch could potentially be an amalgamation of A350-1000s and Boeing 777-9s. The predominant share of the procurement is expected to comprise around 400 narrowbodies, spanning both the Airbus A320neo lineage and Boeing MAX.

Furthermore, during the Q2 earnings call on August 10, Turkish Airlines indicated an impending announcement about this significant order. While many anticipated this disclosure in June at the IATA AGM Istanbul, CEO Ahmet Bolat emphasized the necessity for additional deliberation to finalize deals with engine producers. The initial timeline hinted at an August reveal, but the airline chose to defer owing to prolonged parleys with engine suppliers.

An interesting note about the latest A350 transaction is its simplicity in terms of engine choices, given that the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 is the exclusive engine option for this model.