According to Flightglobal, Turkish Airlines is just finalising a deal to add 4 A380’s to its fleet as early as this summer. The International airline will be wet-leasing the aircraft from as of yet, an unnamed airline, according to the airline, Turkish plan on using the super-jumbos on services to China where slot availability is limited.
Whilst there are still no reports on the product to be found onboard the double-decker, the airline hasn’t been afraid of wet leasing before, originally taking Jet Airways 777 on a wet lease a few years back, offering business, economy and new to Turkish (and since discontinued) – first class suites. So expect a slightly different product onboard, perhaps with 3 or even 4 classes compared to their current fleet offering.
This may be a trial run of the aircraft, as in April last year, Turkish chairman Hamdi Topcu stated that if the aircraft manufacturer comes up with “good opportunities”, they may indeed purchase the A380. Whilst Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said he believed the Turkish carrier would “eventually” order the A380. Turkish Airlines since has kept quiet on their future intentions, adding simply that the airline has what “it needs until 2020” with any final purchase plans to be finalized “towards the end of the year.” But no doubt, as with its leasing deal with Jet Airways, the trial of the larger airframes under lease allows the company to make educated decisions on whether the aircraft will be a successful addition to their ever-growing fleet.
Whilst Turkish are expanding as quickly as many Middle Eastern carriers, and have now the largest international reach in the world, their products are solid industry standard quality, whilst not pushing any real design boundaries (Apart from the CIP Lounge in Istanbul) Hopefully the A380 will give the airline some more space to be a little more creative onboard. We will keep you up to date on the developments as soon as we have more information.