Turkish Airlines' intent to buy 40 Dreamliner 787-9s signals the end of its widebody order drought

Turkish Airlines' several years of caution over making a significant order of widebody aircraft are set to end. On 21-Sep-2017 the airline announced its intent to order 40 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, to be delivered between 2019 and 2023. Turkish Airlines (THY) said that negotiations are continuing with Boeing, while the airframer said that the order will be reflected on its Orders and Deliveries website once finalised.

THY, whose long haul fleet currently favours Airbus, considers the 787-9 will meet its needs at Istanbul's new third airport. The order will allow the airline to add widebody capacity, mainly to replace A330s, and in the words of THY Chairman İlker Aycı, "to enhance passenger satisfaction".

The majority of THY's aircraft are narrowbodies, and this will remain the case. Its global connecting strategy is founded on its proximity to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and much of central and western Asia, all of which are in narrowbody range of Istanbul.

However, analysis of its current fleet plan suggests that a 40 aircraft order will not meet all of its widebody needs into the longer term. This raises the prospect of further orders, with Airbus also likely to be included.

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