Turkish Cargo continues freighter fleet expansion with 777 order

Photo: Turkish Cargo

Turkish Airlines Cargo is looking to further expand its freighter capacity through the addition of extra Boeing 777 freighters.

The fast-growing airline today announced the order of four 777Fs to add to its existing fleet of eight of the aircraft.

Air Cargo News has asked Boeing when the aircraft are due to be delivered.

Turkish Airlines chief cargo officer Ali Türk said: “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 air cargo sector worldwide while maintaining our leading position with our unparalleled service and efficiency for our customers across the globe.”

Boeing said the additional freighters would help meet growing cargo demand driven by the “rapid growth of e-commerce” and the need for “efficient and reliable transportation”.

Paul Righi, vice president of Boeing commercial sales for Eurasia, added: “The 777 freighter’s payload capacity, range and flexibility will enable Turkish Airlines to deliver exceptional customer service while maximizing operational efficiency.”

The aircraft offers a capacity of 102 metric tonnes and a range of 9,200 km.

The carrier has been expanding its cargo and bellyhold fleet over the past decade and has risen from the 22nd largest cargo carrier with a 1.7% market share in 2015 to number four with a 5.8% market share in 2023.

In terms of freighter fleet, the carrier added three unspecified wet-leased aircraft last year to bring its freighter fleet to 24 aircraft: 10 x A330Fs, eight x B777Fs and six unspecified leased aircraft, thought to primarily be made of Airbus A310Fs and Boeing 747-400Fs

It has also placed an order for five Airbus A350F freighters, with the right to order 20 more. 

Cargo volumes at the airline in the first quarter increased by 35% year on year as the industry bounced back from a difficult 2023.

Last year, volumes at the airline in the first quarter were also affected by the devastating earthquake that struck the south of the country.

In late 2023, the then head of cargo, Turhan Özen, said the airline was hoping to grow its freighter fleet to 40 aircraft in the next five years.

Özen said that the airline may turn to wet lease, dry lease and ACMI in the short term to meet its freighter requirements as a result of the production limitations.

He pointed out that the carrier already operates leased freighters – 18 of its 24 freighters are owned (10 Airbus A330s and eight Boeing 777Fs).

However, in the long run, Turkish Cargo will base its strategy mainly on new, owned aircraft.

He added that the freighters would be widebody aircraft but final details on the makeup of the order and exact timeline could not be confirmed at that stage.

Turkish Cargo eyes a fleet of 40 freighters

Turkish Airlines orders five A350Fs

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]