Turkish Airlines Orders 6 More Airbus A350-900s

Yesterday, Turkish Airlines confirmed to its investors that it had placed an order for an additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft to be delivered by the end of the year and in 2023.

What we know about the order

The truth is, we know nothing about the new order other than what was stated above. In January, the Turkish airline reduced its Airbus A350 order by five aircraft, and now, just five months later has added another six.

In 2018, Turkish signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 25 of the Airbus A350-900 variant. At the time of the reduction of the aircraft order, it would have been safe to speculate that the reason for the reduction was financial. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial struggles to the entire world. Airlines, in particular, were hit very hard by a sudden reduction in passenger travel and were forced to plan to prevent themselves from going under.

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Turkish Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the Star Alliance, served by destinations. Photo: Getty Images

Even today, it may be safe to speculate that the reduction of Turkish’s order was financial. Although the past two years have been challenging for airlines, the past few months of 2022 have seen a significant rise in passenger travel. Some airlines are already reporting numbers higher than pre-pandemic levels, and many others predict reaching 2019 levels. The increase in travel may be why Turkish decided to add another six Airbus widebody aircraft to its growing fleet.

Turkish currently operates six Airbus A350-900 aircraft, meaning that Airbus will deliver an additional 19. It is also interesting to note that multiple airlines have orders for the A350-900 aircraft on order. The fact that Turkish placed an order for a few more aircraft and expects a number to be delivered by the end of the year is most likely an indication that the aircraft ordered were meant for another airline. Currently, two Airbus A350-900 aircraft that Aeroflot (a Russian airline) ordered have been sanctioned and will not be delivered to the airline. Could it be possible that more planes will be sanctioned and Turkish will receive aircraft meant for Aeroflot?

A brief overview of the Turkish Airlines fleet

Turkish Airlines has over 300 aircraft in its commercial fleet and services over 200 destinations worldwide. The airline operates a fleet of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft. In addition to its commercial fleet, Turkish operates 10 Airbus A330-200 and eight Boeing 777 freighter aircraft and has a subsidiary Anadolu Jet.

The Simple Flying team recently published and in-depth look at the Turkish Airlines fleet, read it here

Turkish has 104 Airbus narrowbody aircraft, all from the A320 family. Of the 104, 98 are A321s (-200 and neo), and six are the smallest variant in the A320 family, the A319. Its widebody fleet comprises 56 aircraft, split between the A330 and A350. The Turkish airline operates a large fleet of A330s, 50 aircraft, 13 -200s, and 37 -300s. The other six widebody Airbus aircraft are the A350-900.

One of Turkish’s latest liveries on its A321 aircraft is meant to show the airline’s commitment to sustainability. Photo: Turkish Airlines

The airline’s Boeing fleet is also extensive and is made up of the Boeing 737 (-800, -900ER, MAX8, and MAX9), 777, and 787 Dreamliner. Turkish has 80 Boeing narrowbody aircraft, 40 737-800, 15 737-900ER, 20 737-MAX8, and five 737MAX9. In addition to the 80 narrowbodies, Turkish has 48 widebodies, 33 777-300ER, and 15 787-9.


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