Boeing has delivered the first of 12 777-300ERs ordered by Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines.
The milestone delivery marks many firsts for the airline, according to Boeing. The new aircraft is Turkish Airlines’ first 777 directly purchased from Boeing. (Turkish Airlines currently operates four 777-300ERs leased from India’s Jet Airways, but will return these aircraft following delivery of additional 777-300ERs from its own order.)
Additionally, as the first of the 12 777-300ERs Turkish Airlines has on order with Boeing from 2009, the 777-300ER delivered on October 14 serves as the platform for introducing Turkish Airlines’ new “Comfort Class” cabin for the first time. The 777-300ER also bears Turkish Airlines’ new tail livery, introduced less than three weeks ago with the delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A330-300 and its first A330-200F freighter.
“Turkish Airlines continues to grow as a global airline with the 777 helping us to expand into new markets in Asia and the Americas,” says Hamdi Topçu, chairman of Turkish Airlines. “The addition of new Boeing 777-300ERs exemplifies our commitment to delivering high-quality service and comfort to our passengers, while enabling us to continue our profitable growth.”
The 777-300ER is powered by General Electric GE90-115BLs, which are rated at 115,000lb of take-off thrust and are the world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engines.
Boeing is scheduled to deliver four additional 777-300ERs to Turkish Airlines by the end of 2010.
The manufacturer says the Boeing 777-300ER is 19 per cent lighter than its closest competitor (the Airbus A340-600). This reduces its fuel requirement to the point where the 777-300ER produces 22 per cent less carbon dioxide per seat and costs 20 per cent less to operate per seat, according to Boeing. The 777-300ER can seat up to 365 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685km).
To date the 777 family has been ordered by 61 customers around the world, which have ordered more than 1,100 777s.
Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five aircraft, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines now operates a fleet of 145 aircraft flying to 166 destinations around the world, among them 39 domestic and 127 international destinations.
Topçu and Temel Kotil, Turkish Airlines’ CEO, have said recently that the carrier’s aim is to become one of the world’s five biggest airlines and have hinted that the carrier may soon place an order for either the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet.