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Turkish commits to 60 widebodies after inking A350 and 787 deals

Turkish Airlines has struck deals covering orders for 25 Airbus A350-900s and another 25 Boeing 787-9s, paving the way for deliveries to begin next year.

The deals also include five options on both types, taking the overall widebody commitment to 60.

The Star Alliance carrier had initially disclosed an intent to take 40 787s last September, during Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to New York. In a stock market statement last September the airline said it had expressed an interest in taking "20+20" 787-9s for delivery between 2019 and 2023.

It then in January this year expressed its interest in taking 25 A350s, together with five options, during an official Erdogan visit to Paris to meet French president Emmanuel Macron.

Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Aycı says: "Today, we’re pleased to conclude this process which will bring a landmark benefit not only to Turkish Airlines, but also to Turkey’s aviation, by firmly ordering these aircraft.

"Goodwill agreements turned into firm orders; which we consider to be a very important initiative to meet our need for wide body aircraft at Istanbul’s New Airport, which will serve as our new hub once its construction process completed.”

Airbus, in confirming Turkish Airlines' A350 selection in a release of its own, describes the carrier as having signed an MoU covering 25 aircraft and options on five more.

Turkish Airlines says it will take delivery of the first six widebodies in 2019. A further 14 will be delivered in 2020, 10 will follow in 2021, another dozen in 2022, 11 in 2023 and will be completed when seven are delivered in 2024. It does not break out how many of each type will be delivered per year.

Turkish already has a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing narrowbody and widebody aircraft.

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