Turkish Airlines Considers Delaying New Aircraft Deliveries

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the aviation industry, Turkish Airlines may delay increasing its fleet. Turkey’s flag carrier is considering deferring the delivery of some of its new Boeing and Airbus planes, its chairman Ilker Ayci said on Wednesday.

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Turkish Airlines is looking to start resuming flights in June. Photo: Getty Images

Turkish Airlines receives some of its new aircraft

While Turkish Airlines has already received half of its orders for 25 Boeing 787-9 planes, it is hoping to delay the delivery of the rest. In an interview given to the Hürriyet on the 27th May, the chairman, Ilker Ayci, said that the airline was also in talks to take only some of the 25 Airbus 350-900 aircraft that had been ordered.

He added that the airline was prepared to receive the planes that were ready but that it was working to delay the delivery of the rest.

We are trying to lighten the serious burdens that could arise. We are getting our narrowbody planes,” said Ayci.

Even with the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Turkish Airlines appears to be doing all it can to maintain employment. Ayci said that the company was negotiating with labor unions to lower the wages of some senior employees. He also said the company hoped to maintain the employment of its staff until at least the end of the year.

While Turkish Airlines faces difficulty after halting most of its flights during the coronavirus pandemic, it is a different story for its parent company, Turkish Cargo. Turkish Cargo has risen to fifth in the world. Ayci noted that this could leave the door open to purchase more cargo planes.

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Turkish Airlines has had to repeatedly delay the resumption of flights. Photo: Simple Flying

Turkish Airlines looks to resume flights

The carrier, which had previously hoped to resume flights in May, is now looking to resume operations from early June. Domestic flights are due to take to the skies again on 4th June, followed by some international destinations on 10th June.

There will be several changes to in-flight services, including the removal of free food and drinks on domestic flights and some international flights. The service would be removed from any international flight that takes less than two hours. Ayci also hinted that he expected that the flights would be much more expensive.

Domestically, the airline plans to operate 60% of its flights during June.

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Turkish Airlines has been involved in several celebrations in Turkey while flights are grounded. Photo: Getty Images

Turkish Airlines in the time of coronavirus

Even with its commercial flights grounded, Turkish Airlines has been far from inactive during the coronavirus pandemic. Turkey’s flag carrier was involved in a massive operation to repatriate 25,000 Turkish citizens from 59 countries around the world.

The airline was also involved in the celebrations of The National Sovereignty and Children’s Day on 23rd April, by flying a path that would draw the Turkish flag in the sky. 

Turkish Airlines took its involvement in national celebrations one step further in May by taking nine million virtual passengers on a unique flight.

What do you think of Turkish Airlines’ decision to delay receiving its new aircraft? Do you think Turkish Airlines will recover from the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments.