By Kenneth Ehigiator
Turkish Airlines hasÂ signed a contract for the purchase of seven Airbus A330-300 aircraft, firming up a Memorandum of Understanding signed during Le Bourget Airshow in June 2009.
The aircraft, due for delivery from September 2010, will be powered by Rolls Royce engines.Â Carrying 289 passengers in a two-class configuration, the A330s will be operated on high capacity medium haul routes.
Turkish Airlines has operated Airbus aircraft since 1985, and currently has a fleet of 67 Airbus aircraft, including five A310s, 46 A320 family aircraft, seven A330s and nine A340s.Â This is the first time the airline has ordered the A330-300.
â€œOur in-service experience with the Airbus A330 has demonstrated the low operating costs and high level of cabin comfort that this aircraft offers,â€ said Dr Candan Karlitekin, Chairman of Turkish Airlines. â€œThis made it the logical choice for a repeat order to allow us to efficiently achieve our targeted growth.â€
â€œWe are delighted that Turkish Airlines has chosen to expand their fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft, the most cost-effective aircraft in its class,â€ said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. â€œWe have a long history of partnership with Turkish Airlines and are looking forward further supporting their expansion plans.â€
Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.
With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit the diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,650 nm / 10,500 km with a full passenger load. Highly efficient and optimized for the medium â€“ to extended range market, the A330-300 offers the best balance between range and cost. The A330-300 remains the most economic means of flying 300 or so passengers on medium range routes in true long haul comfort.
The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today. Airbus has won more than 1,000 orders for the aircraft and more than 600 A330s are in operation worldwide with 79 operators. The combined fleet has achieved almost 14 million flight hours and serves around 300 destinations worldwide.