Featured image Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

Turkish Airlines, Airbus, Rolls-Royce Cement Partnership

DALLAS — Turkish Airlines (TK), Airbus, and Rolls-Royce recently came together in to celebrate a historic order for 150 A321neo and 80 A350 family aircraft placed in December 2023.

The event was held at at the airline's headquarters in Istanbul and attended by several notable figures, including the Turkish Minister of Trade, Mr. Prof. Ömer Bolat, the Minister of Industry and Technology, Mr. Mehmet Fatih Kacır, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, and the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Bilal Durdalı.

Photo: TK

During the celebration, the Strategic Türkiye Enhanced Programme (STEP) was unveiled. This program, created by Airbus, TK, and aerospace companies in Türkiye, aims to further develop the Turkish aerospace industry in line with Turkish Airlines' long-term strategic growth plan. The goal is to create exponential economic value over the next 15 years.

Turkish Airlines Chairman Prof. Ahmet Bolat. Photo: TK

Turkish Airlines and Rolls-Royce

This recent aircraft order has positioned TK as the world's largest operator of Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB engine. As part of the partnership with Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer is exploring various industrial initiatives in Türkiye. This includes the potential establishment of a competitive Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) capability and further supply chain sourcing.

Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Ahmet Bolat, expressed his satisfaction with the launch of the Strategic Türkiye Enhanced Programme and the partnership with Rolls-Royce.

He emphasized the deepening collaboration with Airbus and the efforts to cultivate Turkish aviation companies into prospective suppliers. The aim is to align closely with Airbus' strategic objectives and their newly identified business domains. The chairman also highlighted the commitment to excellence and the further development of Türkiye's aerospace capabilities.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. Photo: TK

Comments from Airbus, Rolls-Royce CEOs

Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, expressed gratitude to TK for their trust and highlighted the importance of supporting their growth as one of the world's elite airlines. He also emphasized the significance of the new STEP program in broadening collaboration with Türkiye and supporting the airline's growth ambitions, particularly in supply chain development, skills, and sustainability.

Tufan Erginbilgiç, Rolls-Royce CEO, acknowledged the strategic importance of Türkiye as a market for Rolls-Royce. He expressed pleasure at the confidence TK has placed in their Trent XWB engines. Erginbilgiç also expressed enthusiasm for using their aerospace engineering experience to benefit the Turkish economy, grow the country's skills base, and contribute to the energy transition.

Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgiç. Photo: TK

Türkiye and Airbus

Türkiye has been an integral part of Airbus' supply chain for over 20 years. The collaboration has resulted in the inclusion of Turkish supplied parts in every Airbus commercial aircraft from the A220 to the A350.

This partnership has supported over 3,500 Turkish aeronautical jobs and has led to significant investments by Airbus in Türkiye, exceeding US$4 billion by the end of 2023. The collaboration has also fostered expertise, technological advancements, and a highly skilled workforce in Türkiye's aerospace sector.

These initiatives aim to further develop the Turkish aerospace industry in line with TK's growth ambitions and Türkiye's goal of establishing a robust aerospace industry. The partnership underscores the focus on sustainability and technological advancement, fostering innovation, creating high-skilled jobs, and elevating Türkiye as a key player in the aerospace sector.

Featured image shows TC-LSD, a Turkish Airlines Airbus A321neo at MAD.

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