Turkish Airlines orders three more B777 Freighters as the carrier – enjoying record financial results and double-digit cargo growth – continues to pursue its stated goal of becoming the world’s largest cargo carrier.
“We are excited to expand our efficient cargo fleet with the 777 Freighter,” says M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee. “This aircraft has contributed greatly to Turkish Cargo, Turkish Airlines’ successful sub brand, becoming the fastest-growing air cargo carrier in the world. The additional aircraft will provide us more flexibility to serve even more destinations as we continue to grow our global freight network,” he adds.
The new order comes days after Turkish Airlines posted record profits for the first nine months of 2018 on strong passenger and cargo demand. The carrier’s air freight business saw a 25 per cent tonnage increase and a 29 per cent revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago, it said citing WorldACD Market Data figures.
As the world’s fastest growing air cargo brand – far exceeding the industry average of 2.8 per cent volume growth – Turkish Cargo ranks 8th in the WorldACD list of top global air cargo service providers by volume.
Overall, Turkish Airlines reported a net profit for the period of USD 755 million, a 300 per cent increase versus the same period of 2017, with revenue rising 20 per cent to hit USD 9.9 billion resulting in a $1.15 billion operating profit for the January to September period.
In line with the rapid growth, Turkish Airlines has steadily expanded its fleet. Last January, the carrier announced the order of three B777 Freighters. Two months later, Turkish finalised an order for 25 B787-9 Dreamliners and five options to prepare for growing demand at Istanbul’s eponymous new airport.
Over the past few months, Turkish has begun taking delivery of new 737 MAX airplanes to refresh its single-aisle jets. In all, the airline’s fleet of Boeing jetliners has grown to more than 160, with nearly 100 additional aircraft on order.
“Turkish Airlines has achieved significant success over the past decade. In addition to introducing innovations that have powered the growth of Turkey’s commercial aviation sector and anchored a new state-of-the art airport, the airline is delivering outstanding results and rising in the ranks of elite airlines,” adds Kevin McAllister, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“We are extremely honoured that Turkish Airlines has placed its trust and confidence in Boeing’s flagship airplanes: the 737 MAX, the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner.”
Turkish Cargo currently operates a maindeck fleet consisting of one A300-600F, three A310-300F, 10 A330-200F, three B747-400F and four B777F. The carrier also has orders (including today’s announcement) for six B777Fs.