Airbus confirms that the Turkish national carrier Turkish Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of 36 Airbus single aisle and wide body aircraft, further strengthening Airbus’ presence in Central Eastern Europe. The purchase agreement is expected to be signed shortly.
This agreement renews the partnership between Turkish Airlines and Airbus that began in 1984, when the A310 became the first Airbus aircraft to be operated by the Istanbul-based airline. Now, 20 years on, following the introduction of the A340-300 in its fleet in 1993, Turkish Airlines has opted to use the modern and efficient Airbus family products, by acquiring 19 A320’s, 12 A321’s and five A330-200’s. The new aircraft will support Turkish Airlines’ aggressive growth strategy.
With deliveries scheduled as from end 2005, the airline, which operates domestic and international flights via Istanbul, plans to use the aircraft on both domestic, medium and long haul routes internationally. Turkish Airlines will select the engines type to equip the different aircraft at a later stage.
On the occasion of this announcement, the Chairman of Turkish Airlines, Dr. Candan KARLITEKIN said that “having analysed the tender proposals thoroughly, we have come to the conclusion that by acquiring the Airbus aircraft, Turkish Airlines will position itself optimally, both in terms of passenger appeal and cargo potential, but also cost-wise. The economic benefits brought about by the technological level and design features of these aircraft are unique and very compelling indeed.”
“We are delighted to be strengthening our relationship with Turkish Airlines and supporting it in its growth strategy” said Noel Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “The advantages of using a mixed Airbus fleet are enormous and we are sure that Turkish Airlines crew and passengers will benefit from these. This agreement confirms the growing popularity of the A320 family in the Central and Eastern European region and the success of the A330-200, which has become the reference for medium-long haul routes and point-to-point destinations for both the traditional carriers and the charter market.