Turkish Airlines (THY) is set to make aviation history with its plans to order an astounding 600 new aircraft in June. This mega-deal, if confirmed, would mark the largest order ever placed by a single airline, surpassing Air India’s record-breaking order for 470 Airbus and Boeing planes. THY Chairman Ahmet Bolat made the announcement, revealing that the aircraft will be delivered over the course of ten years.
With the order comprising 400 narrow-body and 200 wide-body aircraft, Turkish Airlines aims to significantly expand its fleet. Bolat highlighted that the airline’s current fleet of 414 aircraft is projected to increase to 425 by the end of this year. Furthermore, the ambitious growth plan aims to achieve a remarkable fleet size of 810 aircraft by 2033.
Anticipation Builds for IATA Summit:
The official announcement of the order is expected to take place during the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual summit, which will be held in Istanbul from June 4th to 6th. Bolat expressed that negotiations with one of the major aircraft manufacturers are nearing completion, hinting at a potential deal with Boeing. However, he also alluded to the possibility of finalizing the order for the remaining aircraft with Airbus at the upcoming Paris Airshow in late June.
Boosting Istanbul’s Hub Status:
Turkish Airlines’ ambitious move comes as it seeks to strengthen its position as a major global aviation hub. The carrier aims to attract more traffic to its Istanbul hub, positioning itself as a formidable competitor to both European and Gulf rivals. With its strategic location and the inauguration of the new $12 billion Istanbul airport in 2018, the airline envisions becoming a mega-connector airline, linking Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Industry-Wide Surge in Orders:
Turkish Airlines’ monumental order is part of a broader trend in the aviation industry, where carriers are eagerly securing aircraft orders to gain a competitive edge as travel rebounds post-pandemic. Notably, Ryanair recently placed an order for up to 300 narrow-body jets, and IndiGo is reportedly in talks to purchase around 500 jets.
Strategic Growth and Record Profit:
In addition to the aircraft order, Turkish Airlines unveiled a comprehensive 10-year strategic growth plan last month. The plan outlines ambitious targets, including handling 170 million passengers by 2033, a substantial increase from the projected 85 million passengers in 2023. The company’s commitment to growth has been accompanied by impressive financial performance, with THY announcing a record profit of $2.7 billion in 2022, making it a standout performer in Europe’s aviation sector.
Turkish Airlines’ plan to order 600 new aircraft marks an unprecedented milestone in the aviation industry. If realized, this order will solidify the airline’s position as a major global player, strengthening its hub in Istanbul and positioning it for remarkable growth in the coming years. As anticipation builds for the official announcement at the IATA summit, the industry eagerly awaits the outcome of these monumental negotiations that could shape the future of Turkish Airlines and the broader aviation landscape.