Turkish Airlines Takes Delivery Of First Airbus A350

Filed Under: Turkish

After quite a delay, Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900. Its interior both isn’t what we expected, and is also exactly what we expected…

Turkish Airlines’ 787 & A350 order

In the past few years, Turkish Airlines has placed some significant aircraft order to refresh its long haul fleet. In late 2017 the airline ordered 26 Boeing 787-9s, and in early 2018 the airline ordered 25 Airbus A350-900s.

These planes are intended to help Turkish Airlines grow (or at least that was the plan pre-pandemic), and are also intended to eventually replace the existing long haul fleet of A330s and 777s, though those planes still have a pretty young average age.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9

Turkish Airlines takes delivery of first A350-900

On Thursday, October 22, 2020, Turkish Airlines finally took delivery of its first A350-900, with the registration code TC-LGA. The plane flew from Toulouse to Istanbul in a flight time of 2hr53min. However, in light of the pandemic there weren’t any festivities to celebrate this occasion.

The original plan has been for Turkish Airlines to take delivery of all 25 A350-900s between now and 2023. As you’d expect, there has been talk of Turkish Airlines trying to push back the delivery schedule, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see future deliveries happen at a slower pace than initially expected.

Turkish was supposed to take delivery of this first A350 several months back, as the plane had completed its first flight in March. However, the airline managed to at least get the schedule pushed back by several months.

What are Turkish Airlines’ A350 interiors like?

Turkish Airlines introduced an all new business class seat on its 787-9s, which it started taking delivery of in mid-2019.

Turkish Airlines’ new business class seat

However, within months there were reports that the airline wasn’t very happy with these seats, based on negative feedback from customers, as well as maintenance issues. Based on that, the plan was allegedly for the airline to install all new business class seats on A350-900s, as well as on newly delivered 787-9s going forward.

With Turkish having taken delivery of its first A350-900, what are the business class seats like? Well, it seems that the airline didn’t actually follow through on adjusting its business class seats — the plane has the same business class seats as the 787.

The new A350-900 features a total of 329 seats, including:

  • 32 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 297 economy class seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration


Bottom line

Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of its first A350-900, though I wouldn’t expect the airline to get all 25 of these planes by 2023. The A350 is an incredible plane (and personally I prefer it to the 787), and Turkish is one of my favorite airlines, so this is a great match.

For better or worse, the business class seats on the A350 are identical to those on the 787s. I look forward to seeing these planes on long haul flights soon…

What do you make of Turkish’s new A350s?

  1. It makes ZERO sense that the privacy shield blocks partial view of the window as well as your partner in the honeymoon seats in the middle *rolls eyes*

  2. We thought that 777 business class seats were uncomfortable (in particular, they dig into the back when reclined), so just how bad are the new 787/A350 seats?

  3. I agree with Lukas, i have flown this seat a couple times, and the big issue is the poorly designed privacy shield, which is not only blocking the view to the window, but also restricts seat width at shoulder level to the point its uncomfortable.

  4. Seats are horrible for long-haul.

    I’m betting that Sultan Erdogan will soon rename the airline to ‘Neo Osman Empire Airlines’ or something like that.

  5. I’m going to be flying to Istanbul next year on Turkish and I’ve been wobbling between the new style (787) business class seats and the older style (777). Will be traveling with a partner so the 2-2-2 doesn’t really bother me.

    Which would you pick? The flight is 9-11 hours depending on departure airport.

  6. @Dominic – It’s a no-brainer. I’d pick the old seats on the 777s.

    I flew IST-SFO early in 2020 on the 777 (with a companion) and we love, LOVED LOVED the seats (and everything else). Unless you’re flying alone, the seats on the 777s are wonderful. What a shame it will be when they’re replaced by these stupid new seats.

  7. I flew ATL-IST early this year and was unimpressed with the seat. I found it narrow and lacking in foot space. It wasn’t awful, just not very good.

  8. I actually enjoyed the seats on the 787 a lot! They were comfy and the cabin looks very sleek. I didn’t encounter any shoulder or width issues, and I thought the privacy shield on the window side wasn’t bad at all, I still had enough view from outside. I would pick the 787/A350 seat any time if I had the choice over the A330/777 seat.

  9. There are two ways to interpret the Business Class seat:
    1. This is the same seat that Singapore Airlines is using!
    2. Only on their REGIONAL fleet of 78X and 359.

  10. The best thing about these seats is that at least they are staggered, which despite rapturous comments here (Ben) about inverse fishtail (or whatever) this is by far the best config.

    However, like many others here I just cannot believe the stupidity of the designers to have the wing masking the window. Of course the reason is its cheap! Same seat as the aisle version, which, there, does make sense.

  11. With Erdogan calling out Macron over freedom of speech issues and then following up with a call for boycott of French products will Turkish Airlines cancel the rest of the 24 A350 orders?

  12. @ SS Probably not. The spat between France and Turkey and France and the rest of the world is NOT likely to last long, if the future is like the past.

  13. Like SS says: if dictator Erdogan seriously wants to ban french products: cancel the order of the A350ies!
    What an i..ot.

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