Turkish Airlines Places Large Airbus Order (finally)

By Spyros Georgilidakis | December 15, 2023

An order as big as this is a significant vote of confidence for Airbus – but in a way, Turkish Airlines confirmed it about a month late.

We have seen that Boeing managed to dominate last month’s Dubai Airshow. Airbus announced a few orders but missed out on two significant order announcements. One of these involved Emirates, and stalled because of question marks over Rolls-Royce engines and their service requirements.

Turkish Airlines Places Large Airbus Order (finally)
The airline already flies the Airbus A350-900. Photo: Airbus

The other would-be Airbus order was from Turkish Airlines but wasn’t ready in time for the show. This is the order that the two parties announced today. Turkish is getting a total of 220 Airbus aircraft, both widebodies and narrowbodies.

The bulk of this Turkish Airlines order involves the Airbus A321neo. The airline is getting 150 of these jets, which won’t be new in its fleet. Turkish Airlines already operates 55 A321neos and already had orders for around 30 more.

Turkish Airlines Places Large Airbus Order (finally)
Image: Airbus

The airline also operates the 737, including the MAX-8 and MAX-9 models, in smaller numbers than the A320 family. This makes this new order a win for Airbus. As for widebodies, Turkish Airlines is getting 70 A350s.

Turkish Airlines And A Sizeable Airbus Fleet

50 of these aircraft are the smaller A350-900 variant, while 15 are A350-1000s. The remaining 5 are freighters – the A350F. Turkish is one of few airlines to operate the Airbus A330-200F, along with the A310F. The company also has a couple of 747 converted freighters, plus 8 777Fs.

The A350F in Turkish Airlines colors. Image: Airbus

Airbus markets the A350F as a replacement for both the 747F and the 777F. If Turkish Airlines uses its new Airbus freighters this way, it could eventually end up with an all-Airbus freighter fleet, which would be rather unusual.

Turkish Airlines has operated a large number of A330 widebodies, both A330-200s and A330-300s. However, so far it doesn’t appear to have orders for either variant of the A330neo. But with these latest orders, the airline will have over a hundred A350s across all types.

Turkish operates a lot of A330s. Photo: Dominic Hemmersbach

The A350-1000 and the A350F use the more powerful version of the Rolls-Royce XWB engines. These engines and the frequency of their shop visits in hot and dusty climates are the reason the recent Emirates order faltered.

Turkish doesn’t appear to have the same concerns. However, we still don’t know why Turkish Airlines and Airbus couldn’t complete this order last month in Dubai. Obviously, its deal for the A350s involves Rolls-Royce, which is the A350’s sole engine supplier.



  • Useless scum aviation

  • geoffrey nicholson

    Obviously that last sentence poses some questions which hopefully Mentour News will be able to answer in future.

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