During the pandemic, as we know, many airline companies had to or chose to downsize because of a reduction in demand from customers, which was mainly due to pandemic restrictions. Turkish Airlines was no exception. In January, Turkish airlines reduced its order of Airbus planes by five aircraft. It was felt at that time that the reason for this cancellation was financial. As we know, many airlines were struggling during this difficult time.

However, five months later, according to the website Simple Flying, Turkish Airlines is on the rebound, expanding as ever, reversing the order reduction, and ordering an additional six planes from Airbus. The reason for this is that with the lifting of many of the pandemic restrictions, demand for travel has now increased. However, it appears that many airlines, such as British Airways, were struggling with technical issues, and the US airline Southwest Airlines was dealing with a pilot shortage. However, it appears that Turkish Airlines, like Singapore Airlines, is taking the opportunity to expand its opportunities.

Turkish Airlines in flight
Turkish Airlines is on the rebound © Marco Macca / Travel Radar

Long Term Growth

However, since many of the planes are due at the end of this year, it does appear that Turkish Airlines is focused on growth in the medium to long term. Therefore, other lines such as Singapore Airlines, which are able to increase their passenger numbers quickly, will be the ones to benefit more from the surge in demand this summer. However, Turkish Airlines however has shown that it is trying to impress its customers and stakeholders by reducing its carbon footprint. It is one of the few airlines to adopt SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) as the fuel used by its planes as opposed to the more polluting jet fuel.

Even though Turkish Airlines may find it difficult to expand the numbers quickly, it does appear that it may receive plane deliveries from Airbus more quickly than otherwise anticipated. Thanks to western sanctions against Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine, it appears that 2 Airbus 350-900s on order by Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot have been sanctioned and, therefore, will not be delivered to the airline. There is the possibility, therefore, that they will be delivered to Turkish Airlines instead. if this is the case, this gives the airline the opportunity to expand its passenger numbers earlier.

Turkish Airlines A321 taking Off. Photo by Russell Lee
Turkish Airlines is expecting deliveries by the end of the year © Russell Lee

Turkish Airlines Current Fleet

Turkish Airlines has 104 Airbus narrow-body aircraft, all from the A320 group of planes. Of the 104 planes, 98 are A321s (-200 and neo) and six are from the smallest variant of the A320 group of planes, the A319. In terms of its wide-body fleet, it has 56 aircraft split between the A330 and A350. Of these planes, there are 50 planes from the A330 group of planes (13 -200s and 37 -300s) and six from the A350 group (all are A350 -900).

In terms of its Boeing contingent, Turkish Airlines has 80 narrow-body Boeing aircraft (40 737 -800 planes, 15 737-900ER planes, 20 737-MAX8 planes, and five 737 MAX9 planes). In addition, Turkish Airlines has 48 wide-body planes: 33 777 -300ER planes and 15 787-9 planes.

As one can see, Turkish Airlines already has a large fleet of planes with a wide variety of different models from both Airbus and Boeing. Some of these models are smaller and some larger. As a result, Turkish airlines are able to cater to times when there is more demand as well as times when there is less demand. By having a good spread over both manufacturers, the risk is reduced in the event of one manufacturer being short of spare parts, for example. We look forward to seeing how Turkish Airlines performs in the future as more planes are delivered.

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