Airbus, Turkish Airlines Reach 'Agreement In Principle' On 355 Aircraft Order

Credit: Olaf Schuelke/Alamy

DUBAI—Airbus and Turkish Airlines have reached “an agreement in principle for a significant commercial aircraft order,” Airbus confirmed Nov. 13 on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow.

The yet-to-be-firmed-up deal is for up to 355 aircraft, 240 of which will be on firm order, according to Turkish Airlines. The flag-carrier said in a filing to the Istanbul stock exchange that “discussions with Airbus … are ongoing.” The aircraft are to be delivered between 2026 and 2036.

“Necessary announcements will be shared with the public following to the Board of Directors' approval,” Turkish stated. Airbus also said that it is “ratifying this agreement and will communicate in the coming days.”

Turkish is understood to be ordering a mix of A321neos and A350s, with the vast majority of the commitment being for the narrowbody. The deal is part of Turkish’s latest strategic plan that foresees the carrier growing its fleet to 800 aircraft by 2033. To achieve this and compensate for retirements on the way, Turkish is looking at ordering a total of 600 aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing. The Boeing part of the fleet investment—understood to be for the 737 MAX, 787 and possibly the 777X—is still under negotiation and is understood to be not quite as far advanced as the Airbus component of the order.

The Turkish agreement is one of two mega-orders Airbus has been expecting for the Dubai Airshow. The other one, a follow-up order by Emirates for more A350, is still hanging in the balance. 

Industry sources say Emirates and engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce have yet to come to an understanding over maintenance guarantees for the A350s' Trent XWB engines. Emirates is expecting to take delivery of the first of 50 A350-900s from a previous order in August 2024.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.

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