Turkish Airlines Orders the Airbus A350, After Buying the 787

Jan 5, 2018

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Airbus has a new customer for the new backbone of its long-haul offering, the A350. Turkish Airlines announced Friday a letter of intent to buy 25 Airbus A350-900, in a deal worth around $7.8 billion at list prices, although orders this large typically come with discounts.

The order is important enough to have been signed in the presence of French president Emmanuel Macron and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a ceremony in Paris.The Airbus order follows a Boeing deal Turkish Airlines announced in September 2017, for the purchase of 40  787-9 Dreamliners.

Turkish Airlines flies to more countries in the world than any other airline, and the A350-900 with its long range will enable the airline to have almost all of the world covered nonstop from its home base in Istanbul.

The order means Star Alliance gains another operator of the world’s newest long haul jet, good news for passengers who are loyal to airlines in the alliance, which includes United, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa — all A350 operators.

By the time the new Airbus A350 jets join the Turkish Airlines fleet, the airline will be well settled into its new home at the new Istanbul Airport, scheduled to open in October. It’s shaping up the biggest airport terminal in the world, with 143 boarding bridges, 13 check-in counter islands, 468 check-in desks, 114 self-service check-in kiosks, and a whopping 228 passport control counters.

Every A350 is powered by the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine, which enables A350 operators to pay a smaller environmental tax at congested airports such as London Heathrow (LHR) because of the engine’s low emissions and noise.

Finally, the order marks another milestone in the Turkish Airlines and Airbus relationship, which dates all the way back to 1985 — when the airline took delivery of its first A310.

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