Turkish Airlines Flying “Aeroflot” Airbus A350s

Turkish Airlines Flying “Aeroflot” Airbus A350s

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In mid-May we learned that Turkish Airlines ordered some additional Airbus A350s, which have some cool implications for the passenger experience. The airline has now taken delivery of the first of these planes, and we have a sense of the routes they’ll operate.

Turkish Airlines getting six more A350s by 2023

In May 2022, Turkish Airlines announced that it decided to purchase an additional six Airbus A350-900s, which will be delivered to the airline in 2022 and 2023.

For context, Turkish Airlines had already previously ordered 25 Airbus A350s. The airline already has seven of these in its fleet, with another 18 due to be delivered. Turkish Airlines took delivery of its first A350 in late 2020, and the plan is for all A350s to be delivered by the end of 2023.

With this latest update, we should expect Turkish Airlines to have 31 A350s by the end of 2023, which helps the airline expand and renew its long haul fleet.

These Airbus A350s were intended for Aeroflot

When Turkish Airlines announced it had ordered six Airbus A350s with short delivery timelines, it was pretty clear that these were initially intended for another airline. Specifically, all of these additional A350s were intended for Aeroflot:

  • Aeroflot had ordered 22 Airbus A350-900s; seven of these have already been delivered, and the other 15 were supposed to be delivered by the end of 2023
  • With the sanctions currently in place, along with the overall situation, it seems pretty clear that Aeroflot won’t be taking delivery of these planes anymore, and Airbus is looking for new buyers
  • So it’s logical that Turkish Airlines would take over these planes, as the airline continues to look to expand

From a passenger experience standpoint, one cool thing is that these planes will feature the cabins that were intended for Aeroflot. This is pretty exciting, because Aeroflot’s A350s feature an all new business class product with doors, which looks pretty nice, certainly nicer than Turkish Airlines’ current A350 business class (which is the same as what’s available on the 787).

So below are the cabins we can also expect on these six Turkish Airlines A350s.

Aeroflot Airbus A350 business class
Aeroflot Airbus A350 business class

Furthermore, Aeroflot’s A350s have a premium economy cabin. Turkish Airlines doesn’t sell premium economy, so I’ll be curious to see how Turkish Airlines assigns these seats — presumably they’ll go to elite members, and/or be available for purchase.

Aeroflot Airbus A350 premium economy

Where Turkish Airlines’ Aeroflot A350s will fly

Turkish Airlines has now scheduled these special A350s for the upcoming winter season. As noted by aeroroutes.com, these planes are scheduled to operate the following routes between October 30, 2022, and March 25, 2023:

  • Istanbul to New York (JFK) daily
  • Istanbul to Cape Town (JFK) daily
  • Istanbul to Dubai (DXB) 2x weekly (only as of December 2, 2022)
  • Istanbul to Stuttgart (STR) 1x weekly

You should be able to tell whether a flight is operated by this A350 vs. a “standard” A350 based on the seatmap. In business class, the Aeroflot configuration has a total of 28 seats spread across seven rows, while the standard configuration has a total of 32 seats spread across eight rows.

Aeroflot A350 business class seatmap

In economy class, the Aeroflot configuration first has a total of 24 premium economy seats that are spread across three rows in a 2-4-2 configuration, while the standard configuration goes straight to a 3-3-3 layout.

Aeroflot A350 economy class seatmap

I’m certainly looking forward to giving these special Aeroflot A350s a try. I’d just note that the schedule remains highly subject to change, as Turkish is notorious for swapping planes. So I wouldn’t consider these planned routes to be a sure bet.

These A350s will enter service before late October (still during the summer season), but they won’t be operating any long haul routes, and schedules seem highly inconsistent.

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines has started taking delivery of its first of six additional Airbus A350s, bringing the carrier’s order total to 31 jets. These jets were intended for Aeroflot, and should join Turkish Airlines’ fleet in the coming weeks and months.

It’s pretty exciting to see Turkish Airlines taking delivery of these planes, given that they feature a much improved business class product, including doors. The planes also have premium economy, but that likely won’t be sold.

The plan is for these planes to be flying to New York and Cape Town as of later this year, though we’ll see if that sticks.

What do you make of Turkish Airlines acquiring ex-Aeroflot A350s?

Conversations (17)
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  1. Adem Murat Guest

    I just flew this plane in business class last night. Being a frequent Turkish Airlines Flyer, I was impressed by the plane. Extremely smooth, quiet and the Aeroflot design was fabulous. Way better than the Dreamliner business class design in my opinion. I will definitively take the JFK flight to Istanbul in January if it’s available still.

  2. Linda Guest

    Does anyone know if the premium economy seats will be wider as well as more leg room? Some websites show it as 20in others as 18. I fly this aircraft in November from Cape Town to Istanbul. It costs $99 to book this seat and $39 a standard seat. Thinking it may be worth it for the extra #$60

  3. DT Guest

    Did a dummy booking and the PE seats seem to be sold as regular “extra legroom” seats. For IST-JFK that’s $129 and a steal.

  4. Anonymous Guest

    I predict Flyer talk posts like: "TK downgraded me from J to PE, what should I demand for compensation?"

  5. Stanley Guest

    At first I was concerned. Thinking you were telling us be aware of Turkish flying used Russian aircraft.
    Russia put themselves in this situation and they are going to eat it! When they start paying reparations they will go from being a 2nd world nation to a 3rd or 4th? world nation.

  6. Stuart Guest

    This is a so what. And hardly the title, lol. TK is taking over orders from Airbus for planes that were never delivered to Aeroflot. And?

    1. MS Guest

      And the business class and PE product on the Aeroflot intended aircraft are superior to TK's standard product. It's a good thing for TK flyers

  7. Mike O. Guest

    What I don't understand is why Turkish hasn't released a new livery to match the new branding. Why spend all this time, money to update the brand, but not the livery. For these who are not yet up to date, https://logos.fandom.com/wiki/Turkish_Airlines#2010%E2%80%932018 for clarity on what I'm talking about.

  8. Tom Guest

    I agree the title of the article is misleading. It implies Turkish will fly used Aeroflot aircraft. That would be a scary thought.

    1. Jesse Guest

      Why? Their planes are still being maintained as usual.

  9. Bobo Guest

    Ben you need to change the title. I was misled into thinking Turkish took over aircraft that had already been flying for Aeroflot already, which would make me concerned about safety.

    1. Jesse Guest

      "Concerned about safety"? Really? Aeroflot is still maintaining its planes, as they still get the necessary parts for the aircraft via third parties. I have several students whose fathers are Aeroflot pilots, and regularly communicate with a couple of them. I'd be more scared of flying with Emirates....you know, recently flying with a hole in the side of the aircraft and all......

    2. Stuart Guest

      Sure, I am positive those Aeroflot pilot friends are super in tune with the parts being used and are down there personally supervising C checks. They have no clue. They just fly the metal until something goes wrong. And believe me, soon it will go wrong.

    3. SamB Gold

      I wouldn't be concerned about safety, since the planes probably would've been inspected and maintained by TK, but it would be gross ethically if they had bought or leased the planes from Aeroflot, which is what I assumed initially.

    4. N N Ramachandran Guest

      Why only western pilots are good. That six engine Russian aircraft was flown by Russian Pilots on errands for America many times that no one doubted their ability prowess or capabilities. Has not western pilots crashed aircraft what happened in Tenerife Four decades ago when KL collided with PAN AM killing more than 500 passengers!!!

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DT Guest

Did a dummy booking and the PE seats seem to be sold as regular “extra legroom” seats. For IST-JFK that’s $129 and a steal.

2
Bobo Guest

Ben you need to change the title. I was misled into thinking Turkish took over aircraft that had already been flying for Aeroflot already, which would make me concerned about safety.

2
Stuart Guest

Sure, I am positive those Aeroflot pilot friends are super in tune with the parts being used and are down there personally supervising C checks. They have no clue. They just fly the metal until something goes wrong. And believe me, soon it will go wrong.

1
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