Turkish Airlines Cargo Expands Freighter Capacity with New Boeing 777F Order

Turkish Airlines Cargo is set to further enhance its freighter capacity with the addition of four new Boeing 777 freighters. This expansion is in response to the increasing global demand for airfreight services, underscoring the airline’s commitment to maintaining its leading position in the air cargo sector.

This new investment in expanding our cargo fleet underscores our commitment to meeting the growing global demand for airfreight services. The addition of these Boeing 777 Freighters will not only enhance our operational capabilities but also serve as another step in our strategic vision to reach the top of the air cargo sector worldwide while maintaining our leading position with our unparalleled service and efficiency for our customers across the globe.

Ali Türk, Chief Cargo Officer of Turkish Airlines

The Boeing 777 Freighter is renowned for its payload capacity of 102 MT and a range of 9,200 km, making it a versatile and powerful addition to any fleet. According to Boeing, the 777 freighter’s payload capacity, range, and flexibility will enable Turkish Airlines to deliver exceptional customer service while maximizing operational efficiency. It also emphasized that the additional freighters would help meet the growing cargo demand driven by the rapid growth of e-commerce and the need for efficient and reliable transportation.

Over the past decade, Turkish Airlines Cargo has been strategically expanding both its cargo and bellyhold fleet. The carrier’s ascent from the 22nd largest cargo carrier with a 1.7% market share in 2015 to the 4th largest with a 5.8% market share in 2023 is a testament to its ambitious growth strategy.

In 2023, the carrier expanded its freighter fleet to 24 aircraft, which includes 10 Airbus A330Fs, eight Boeing 777Fs, and six unspecified leased aircraft, likely comprising Airbus A310Fs and Boeing 747-400Fs. Last year, Turkish Airlines Cargo also placed an order for five Airbus A350F freighters, with the option to order 20 more.

The airline’s cargo volumes saw a substantial 35% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of this year, signaling a robust recovery from the challenges of 2023. This growth was particularly notable given the impact of the devastating earthquake that struck southern Turkey last year.

In late 2023, the (then) Head of Cargo, Turhan Özen, indicated that the airline might turn to wet lease, dry lease, and ACMI arrangements in the short term to meet its freighter requirements due to production limitations. Currently, 18 of the airline’s 24 freighters are owned, comprising 10 Airbus A330s and eight Boeing 777Fs. However, the long-term strategy will focus mainly on new, owned aircraft, with widebody freighters being the cornerstone of this expansion.

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