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Turkish Airlines Part 1: possible upside to 2017 capacity & fleet plan as recovery beats expectation

In the winter 2016/2017 schedule the Turkish Airlines Group implemented an unprecedented year-on-year cut in capacity. According to data from OAG, its total seat numbers were 4.7% lower than in the previous winter schedule. In ASK terms, Turkish Airlines reported a 6.1% year-on-year cut for the winter months (Nov-2016 to Mar-2017).

This report presents detailed figures from the CAPA Fleet Database illustrating the reduction in Turkish Airlines' fleet in winter 2016/2017. Its fleet numbers, and particularly its aircraft orders, are dominated by narrowbody types.

Turkish Airlines CEO Mr Bilal Ekşi said at a 25-Apr-2017 briefing in Singapore that the group was experiencing a better than expected recovery in demand. This raises the prospect of a higher ASK growth rate than the 3% targeted by Turkish Airlines for 2017. Moreover, the size of the group's fleet is now expected to remain stable this year, rather than shrinking as previously planned. There may also be some wet leases of new generation widebodies.

Two subsequent parts of this report on Turkish Airlines will examine the airline's expansion in Asia and plans for Australia.

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