Airbus partnering with Turkish firms for nearly 40 years

Dutch aviation firm has 17 Turkish suppliers that produce items ranging from fuselage parts to electrical wiring, says president of Airbus Türkiye

The Dutch aviation firm Airbus has 17 suppliers of varying sizes in Türkiye, producing items ranging from fuselage parts to fuel tanks and electrical wiring, Simon Ward, the president of Airbus Türkiye, said.

Ward told Anadolu that the Ankara-based defense firm Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is one of Airbus’ business partners in expanding their supply chain.

He emphasized that Airbus wants to be a pioneering business partner in Türkiye’s sustainability efforts, saying: “We are in discussions with our business partners operating in different fields to see where we can contribute with our expertise, as we have a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, and this is not a goal that can be made true without the whole sector contributing to it.”

Ward mentioned that Istanbul stands out as the center of the world in terms of aviation.

“One can reach one thirds of the world’s population within a four-hour flight from Istanbul, so, we see that the number of passengers in Istanbul Airport is gradually increasing, and in January, it became the most crowded airport in Europe,” he added.

Istanbul Airport has capacity to handle rapidly growing air traffic routes

Ward highlighted that many people were surprised by the quick recovery of air travel in the post-pandemic period, noting that routes to and from Türkiye are among the fastest-growing air traffic routes, as Istanbul Airport has the capacity to handle the growth.

“I am certain that Istanbul Airport will become one of the most crowded airports in the world with its Simultaneous Independent Triple Parallel Runway Operations (Triple RWY Operations TRO) application, which will enable three airplanes to make three independent landings and take-offs at the same time,” said Ward.

“While Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport may not have the glamor of Istanbul Airport, it remains an important hub for tourism and it is home to Pegasus, Türkiye’s successful low-cost airline,” he added.

He recalled that the long-awaited second runway at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport opened in 2023, and that they expect the Pegasus airline to expand its fleet this year.

Airbus partners with Turkish firms for almost 40 years

Ward mentioned that Airbus and Türkiye have a long-standing cooperation with successful projects made in commercial and military aviation, as the Dutch aviation firm has been business partners with Turkish firms for nearly 40 years.

He said Airbus is still closely working with Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry, the Defense Industry Agency, the Turkish Air Force, the Naval Forces, and the Coast Guard Command.

“When we look at Airbus’ history in Türkiye, we see that Turkish Airlines was the first airline to use the Airbus A310 in Türkiye, in 1985, and the Turkish Air Force took delivery of the CN235, formerly the EADS Casa, in 1991,” he also said.

Ward noted that Türkiye was also the business partner of the Airbus A400M Atlas project in 2003, and although many people think of Airbus when it comes to commercial airplanes, the company operates globally in space technology, helicopters, cyber security, border security, military communications, and air taxi.

Airbus has technologies that help develop the capabilities of the Turkish aviation industry,as the firm focuses on long-term and mutually beneficial industrial collaborations by offering options that include technology transfer, he stressed.

Ward added that their management center in Türkiye is in Ankara, the capital city, though they offer support for their customers in Istanbul and in the central-southeastern city of Kayseri.

Turkish Airlines’ acquisition of 220 units of Airbus aircraft becomes one of largest orders received

Ward underlined that they received hefty amounts of orders in all business lines last year, saying: “We received 2,944 net orders for our commercial aircraft and delivered 735 aircraft. Turkish Airlines ordered 220 Airbus aircraft, which was one of the largest orders we received globally, and it had a very positive impact on our order book in 2023.”

“We expect 2024 to be a busy year as well, as we have both commercial and defense contracts to complete, and we need to support our ever-growing number of aircraft in Türkiye,” he added.

Ward emphasized that they are not selling only commercial aircraft to Türkiye, saying: “We want to continue our partnership with Türkiye and the Turkish aviation ecosystem, and since tourism is a major contributor to gross domestic product, this year, we will continue to support Turkish airlines to grow and modernize their fleets.”

Türkiye stands out as strategic business partner to Airbus

Ward said Türkiye is still in the process of modernizing its air force.

“Türkiye made its interest clear in the Eurofighter, the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter jet, which may play a key role in NATO missions and protecting the Turkish airspace,” he said.

“We will be here for a long time. Türkiye is a strategic partner for Airbus, and we are working with industry stakeholders to continue our long-term cooperation,” he added.

Ward underlined that they are working with TAI to establish a vocational school for aviation in the earthquake-stricken area, which will give hope to young people who want to pursue a career in aviation, as Türkiye became one of the main global players in the sector thanks to the strong growth of its flag-carrier Turkish Airlines, and the success of its supply chain.

Source: aa

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