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Celebrating the historic order for 150 A321neo and 80 A350 Family aircraft placed in December 2023, Türkiye’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Airbus and Rolls-Royce came together at Turkish Airlines’ headquarters in Istanbul. Present were the Turkish Minister of Trade Mr. Prof. Ömer Bolat, Minister of Industry and Technology Mr. Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Mr. Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, and Deputy Minister of National Defence Mr. Bilal Durdalı, representatives of top Turkish aerospace companies as well as the British Consul General, and undersecretaries of France and Spain.

The celebration also marked the unveiling of the Strategic Türkiye Enhanced Programme (STEP), which was created by Airbus, Turkish Airlines and aerospace companies in Türkiye to further develop the Turkish aerospace industry in line with Turkish Airlines’ long-term strategic growth plan and create exponential economic value over the next 15 years.

The recent aircraft order position Turkish Airlines as the world’s largest operator of Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engine. In line with the partnership with Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer is exploring the implementation of a number of industrial initiatives in Türkiye, including the potential establishment of a competitive Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) capability and further supply chain sourcing.

Commenting on the STEP and the partnership with Rolls-Royce Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Ahmet Bolat stated: “We are glad about the launch of the Strategic Türkiye Enhanced Programme with Airbus, which is a testament to our deepening collaboration with the aircraft manufacturer. Given the rapid advancements in technology, today marks the commencement of our efforts to help cultivate Turkish aviation companies into prospective suppliers, aligning closely with Airbus’ strategic objectives and their newly identified business domains.

We are also delighted to further strengthen our relationship with Rolls-Royce. By joining forces with the manufacturing giants, we underscore our commitment to both excellence and the further development of Türkiye’s aerospace capabilities. With the significant cooperation between three valuable companies, Turkish Airlines will continue to leverage advanced technologies and collaborative strategies to enhance our operational efficiencies and contribute to continuing our sustainable growth while reinforcing our leading role on the global aviation stage.”

Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO said: “We thank Turkish Airlines for their trust and we are honoured to both support their growth as one of the world‘s elite airlines and develop our partnership with Türkiye through the new STEP programme we are unveiling today. The programme will provide the framework for Airbus to further broaden its collaboration with Türkiye and support Turkish Airlines’ growth ambitions, with a particular focus on supply chain development, skills and sustainability.”

Tufan Erginbilgiç, Rolls-Royce CEO said: “Türkiye is a strategically important market for Rolls-Royce across our business. We are very pleased with the confidence that Turkish Airlines has placed in our Trent XWB engines. We now look forward to working with Turkish Airlines and our partners to use our extensive aerospace engineering experience to benefit the Turkish economy, grow the country’s skills base and expand its role in the energy transition. I am personally very energised by the strengthening relationship between our great company, Turkish Airlines and the Republic of Türkiye.”

Türkiye has been an integral part of Airbus’ supply chain for over 20 years, and today every Airbus commercial aircraft from the A220 to the A350 includes Turkish supplied parts. Directly and indirectly over 3,500 Turkish aeronautical jobs are supported by Airbus. At the end of 2023, the accumulated total amount invested by Airbus in Türkiye has exceeded US$4 billion. In addition, the 20-year collaboration has established a wealth of expertise, technological advancements and a highly skilled workforce in Türkiye’s aerospace sector.

These initiatives aim to further develop the Turkish aerospace industry in accordance with Turkish Airlines growth ambition as well as Türkiye’s aim to develop a robust aerospace industry. Supported with the acquisition of A321neo and A350 aircraft which aligns with Turkish Airlines’ ongoing commitment to expand its reach and enhance service capabilities across its extensive flight network, the partnership also underscores all three partners’ focus on sustainability and technological advancement. This forward-thinking approach is designed to foster innovation, create high-skilled jobs, and elevate Türkiye as a key player in the aerospace sector.

 





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