SunExpress is exercising options for ten additional Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in what can be considered a vote of confidence for the aircraft type.
All Boeing 737 Max 8s are currently grounded following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The purchase, confirmed at the Dubai Air Show, is valued at $1.2 billion according to list prices, and adds to a previous SunExpress order for 32 Max planes.
“We have a long standing, strong and trustful relationship with Boeing and thus we decided to turn our option into an order.
“We stand behind our strategic decision to phase the 737 Max into our fleet for all of its economic and ecological advantages, mid- and long-term,” said Jens Bischof, chief executive of SunExpress.
“We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft.
“However, it goes without saying that this requires the undisputed airworthiness of the model, granted by all relevant authorities.
“Our utmost priority at SunExpress is and has always been safety.”
The airline, which specialises in offering direct connections between Europe, Turkey and popular holiday destinations, has achieved significant growth in recent years as it steadily expanded its fleet of mainly Boeing 737 airplanes.
Last year, SunExpress’ passenger count climbed to nearly ten million across roughly 100 destinations.
“We are honoured and humbled by the trust that SunExpress has placed in our team at Boeing.
“They have been a wonderful partner over the years, demonstrating every day the efficiency and reliability of the Boeing 737 across their growing network,” said Stan Deal, president, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“We regret the impact the Max grounding has had on SunExpress and their passengers.
“The Boeing team is working hard to safely return the airplane to service and providing the capacity for SunExpress to continue serving as the backbone of air travel in the Turkish tourism industry.”