Turkish Airlines postpones mega order of 600 planes as engine problems weigh

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While we were waiting for the announcement this summer, Turkish Airlines postponed its decision on its mega order planned 600 new planes, a hiccup due to problems producing quality engines on some of the latest models from Airbus and Boeing.

The deal, which Turkish President Ahmet Bolat has already discussed, will include around 400 Airbus narrow-body aircraft A320neo and Boeing 737 MAXand about 200 jumbo jets Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 and 777-9. At 600 aircraft, it could be the largest aircraft order in history, eclipsing recent mega-deals fromAir-India And from IndiGo. “While we are trying to decide what type of aircraft to choose, we are also investigating what types of engines to obtain as well as the type of maintenance contract”Turkish chief financial officer Murat Seker said at a press conference on Thursday. “That’s why we haven’t announced a decision yet. »

At the end of July, RTX, the parent company of Pratt & Whitneyrecalled some 1 200 reactors turbofan on airplanes A320neo family. The problem is a “rare condition in powdered metal” which could cause some parts to wear out faster than expected. Of the recalled engines, 200 are due for inspection by September and the rest within a year. The A320neo family of aircraft is equipped with turbofans P&W or motors CFM International LEAP-1A. THE CFM LEAP-1B is the only engine offered for the 737 MAX. At the end of June, we recalled in our columns the engine problems encountered by airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Go First in India (A320neo), Wizz Air, Air Astanaor KLM Cityhopper in Amsterdam, the A220 Iraq Airways, airBaltic, Air Tanzania and Air Senegal or EgyptAir among others. It was then estimated that 121 Airbus of the A320neo family were affected, i.e. 9.8% of single-aisle aircraft equipped with P&W engines. A number that does not take into account the A220 or the Embraer…

Despite the postponement of its planned order, Turkish Airlines continued its expansion with breathtaking speed in the second quarter. Capacity, measured in ASK, increased 14% year-on-year. Just in the Americas, it has added routes to Dallas-Fort Worth, Newark, Seattle and Vancouver since 2021. New service to Detroit begins in November. It also added many new routes to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia. So much so that Turkish Airlines considers itself to be part “one of the few global carriers to successfully adapt to the ‘new normal’ and exceed 2019 capacity levels by nearly 25% in the first half”. In fact, it even raised its earnings forecast, expecting strong demand to more than offset cost inflation.

The Star Alliance company operates both Airbus single-aisle aircraft, including neos (40 A321neos still to be delivered) and Boeing single-aisle aircraft (including 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9, with no orders in progress). On the long-haul, it has 49 Airbus A330-200 and -300 and 14 A350-900 (12 more expected), as well as 33 Boeing 777-300ER and 18 of the 25 787-9 Dreamliner ordered.

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