Turkish Airlines To Fly Boeing 787 To Montreal

Last year, various sources were reporting that Turkish Airlines would be introducing its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on routes to various North American cities. Well, it’s been seven months since that news emerged and the airline has stuck to its schedule – deploying its new jet for service between Istanbul and Montreal beginning 29 March.

Turkish Airlines Mexico
The new 787-9 Dreamliner from Turkish Airways Photo: Boeing

Service details

The blog Running with Miles points out that this will not be a daily service for Turkish Airlines. Rather, it will operate three times weekly, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The flight schedule is as follows:

  • TK35: Istanbul to Montreal. Departs 14:05. Arrives 17:00.
  • TK36: Montreal to Istanbul. Departs 22:45. Arrives 14:55 (+1 day)

This is not a new route for the airline – it’s just a change in the aircraft. One Mile at a Time reports that the airline is currently using an Airbus A330-300 for the route. The switch to a Boeing 787-9 represents a slight capacity increase:

  • Turkish Airlines’ A330-300 is configured to have 28 seats in business and 261 in economy.
  • The 787-9 is configured with 30 business class seats and 270 in economy.
Turkish Airlines 787
Turkish Airlines’ first Dreamliner was delivered in June 2019. Photo: Turkish Airlines

Is it really better?

Many sites reporting on this are calling it an upgrade. Yes, the aircraft is newer (delivered in June), but it’s also configured to be a little more dense, taking away space from each seat. In business class, seat width is one inch less with the 787-9.

In economy class, 787-9 seats will lose 1-3 inches of pitch compared to the A330-300. Furthermore, some A330-300 seats offer 18 inches of width while all 787-9 seats are set at 17. That difference in width allows for 9-abreast economy seating (3-3-3) on the Dreamliner, compared to 8-abreast (2-4-2) on the A330.

While personal space may have shrunk just a little, what will be better is the overall flight experience. What the 787-9 offers over the A330 is larger windows and increased cabin humidity. Passengers might appreciate this more than the few inches of space lost.

Turkish Airlines
The Turkish Airlines Boeing 787 economy cabin. Photo: Turkish Airlines

The controversial business class seat

Rumor has it that passengers have issues with these new business class seats. Apparently, business class passengers traveling on these new Dreamliners have had issues with seat width, despite having direct aisle access as well as far more privacy.

One Mile At A Time reported in December that the airline is considering a different business class seat for its remaining orders of A350-900 aircraft and Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Additional speculation is that the airline will keep their current jets as is, but will offer a wider seat option moving forward.


Turkish Airlines has been rolling out its 787-9 long-haul service to major cities over the last six months. This includes Bali in July and London in September. Along with this Montreal change, the cities of Washington D.C., Havana (Cuba), Caracas (Venezuela), and Cape Town (South Africa) will all enjoy 787-9 service as of 29 March. Coming up later this year will be 787-9 service to Singapore. This service starts in June.

Flying with Turkish Airlines, would you choose the Boeing 787-9 over the older Airbus A330-300? Let us know your preference and why in the comments!

We reached out to Turkish Airlines to see if they had anything to add regarding these new services. We’ll update this post if we receive anything.