ISTANBUL, Turkey – Taking its place as one of the world’s major airlines, Turkish Airlines continues to grow its fleet in order to meet the needs of its ever-growing network and expanding customer base. Turkish Airlines also wishes to serve its customers with Europe’s youngest and most modern fleet. That process continues as the airline adds its 300th aircraft.
The addition of the 300th plane was celebrated with a ceremony that was held today at Atatürk International Airport in the new hangar of Turkish Technic Inc.. The ceremony included the participation of Turkish Airlines’ Board Chairman, M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ CEO, Dr. Temel Kotil, Airbus’ Regional Sales Director/Middle East and Europe, Douglas Anderson, and Airbus’ Contracts Director, David Bonnel as well as a large number of business partners and media representatives.
In his address, Turkish Airlines Board Chairman M. İlker Aycı noted that Turkish Airlines has set great targets to take measured steps towards becoming the world’s leading airline. Indicating that Turkish Airlines has also acted as a “diplomatic” pioneer due to the far-reaching flight network, Aycı said, “As Turkish Airlines, we are at the top among the fastest growing airlines worldwide. Established in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, Turkish Airlines today is a 4-star airline with a fleet of 300 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 284 destinations worldwide -235 international and 49 domestic-. Turkish Airlines received its 100th aircraft in August 2006, 73 years after its establishment. Nearly seven years later, in March 2013, its fleet reached 200 aircraft. With 300 aircraft in our fleet today, we are the world’s 13th largest airline in terms of fleet size*, and with 39 new aircraft to be added by the end of this year, Turkish Airlines will be even more prominent at the international level with its young fleet.”
He also added that, “We are determined that Turkish Airlines will have the strongest base in international aviation with its highly-qualified workforce and its young, modern fleet. We have made huge efforts to reach that objective as a big family working together. The 300th airplane is one symbol of our determination to reach the vision and objectives that we’ve set.”
Douglas Anderson, Senior Sales Director of Airbus commented: “We would like to congratulate Turkish Airlines on the milestone of increasing its fleet to 300 aircraft and we would like to express our gratitude for their confidence in Airbus aircraft. Ten years ago Turkish Airlines was operating with only 7 wide-body aircraft and today they have more than 70. We are honored to be a partner in their growth and look forward to be a part of their growing fleet in the coming years.”
The aircraft was then handed over to Turkish Airlines. Powered by CF6-80E1 engines, the A330-300 is the first aircraft to be equipped with galleys from TCI –Turkish Cabin Interiors- and economy class seats from TSI –Turkish Seat Industries- all manufactured in Turkey. The new aircraft will be deployed on existing medium and long-haul routes from the Turkish Airlines Istanbul hub, adding more capacity to enhance the airline’s growth strategy.
Airbus has a long-standing relationship with Turkish Airlines dating back to 1984 when it added the first A310. Today the carrier operates 159 Airbus aircraft including 53 A330 variants.
Airbus is well positioned to meet the demand for Turkish Airlines’ ambitious growth strategy with its eco-efficient, modern family of aircraft. Turkish aerospace companies benefit from this growth through long-term industrial partnerships with Airbus.
The A330 family includes freighters, VIP, and military transport/tanker variants, and has now attracted more than 1,600 orders. Over 1,200 A330 aircraft are flying with more than 100 operators worldwide. Having an operational reliability of 99,4 percent, the A330 is one of the world’s most efficient aircraft with best-in-class operating economics. The A330 belongs to the successful group of Airbus Widebody aircraft, which consists of the A330, A350 XWB and A380, uniquely spanning the 250 to over 500 seat market segment.