Key Points:

  • SunExpress has placed its largest order ever for additional Boeing 737 Max aircraft, underlining its optimism in the Turkish travel market's growth.

  • The order includes 45 Max jets for delivery between 2029 and 2035, with options and purchase rights for 40 more, supplementing its existing fleet expansion of 42 Max 8s.

  • SunExpress CEO Max Kownatzki announces the airline's ambitious growth plan, aiming to increase its fleet to 166 aircraft by 2035.

SunExpress' Strategic Fleet Expansion Amid Turkish Market Growth

ISTANBUL — SunExpress, buoyed by the recent upsurge in Turkish travel following the Covid pandemic, is reinforcing its fleet with an order for larger Boeing 737-10 aircraft. Max Kownatzki, the chief executive of the leisure carrier, has expressed confidence in the airline's continued success, reflecting the positive trend in the Turkish travel market. This optimism is evident in the airline's decision to further expand its fleet.

Currently, SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, is in the midst of incorporating 42 Max 8s from a previous order. However, the airline has solidified its long-term fleet strategy by signing a firm deal for an additional 45 Max aircraft. This agreement, finalized at the Dubai air show, schedules the delivery of these new jets from 2029 through to 2035. Moreover, SunExpress has secured options and purchase rights for another 40 Max narrowbodies within the same timeframe.

Record Order Signifying SunExpress' Ambitious Growth

While the airline industry has seen numerous substantial deals in the last 18 months, the magnitude of SunExpress' latest order stands out. Kownatzki emphasized the significance of this milestone during a press conference at the Dubai air show, stating, “It is the largest order in the history of SunExpress.” This expansion plan envisages more than doubling the carrier's fleet over the next decade.

SunExpress currently operates 66 aircraft and aims to grow its fleet size to about 100 by 2028. The airline's ambitious growth trajectory doesn't stop there, with plans to reach a fleet of approximately 150 aircraft by 2032-33, ultimately expanding to 166 aircraft by 2035. This expansion underscores SunExpress' commitment to capitalizing on the burgeoning travel market in Turkey and its confidence in sustaining robust growth in the post-pandemic era.