MIAMI — The first of 25 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for Turkish Airlines (TK) performed its maiden flight sporting the carrier’s full livery and registration (TC-LLA • MSN865).
The plane is expected to be delivered during this summer, followed by 24 planes which will be handed over through 2022.
Today, the plane was spotted by local planespotter Jennifer Schuld performing taxi tests in Paine Field Airport (PAE).
Towards the end of the summer, Turkish Airlines will deploy the aircraft on flights between Istanbul and Antalya, a very popular tourist hotspot, for crew training purposes.
From March 2020, Turkish Airlines will deploy the new Dreamliners on a range of different routes, replacing routes that are currently served by its Airbus A330-200s and A330-300s. These include Boston, New York-JFK, Washington DC, Montreal, Caracas, Havana, and Cape Town.
These planes will eventually replace some of the older A330s in the carrier’s fleet. Turkish Airlines is one of the largest operators of the A330-200/-300 worldwide, with 66 active planes, including 28 -200s and 38 -300s.
Turkish Airlines and Boeing concluded a firm order for 25 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with options for five additional airplanes.
Last year, during the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club, the airline’s CEO said that it was looking at launching non-stop flights from Istanbul to Sydney, Australia, using the incoming Boeing 787-9s, which would become one of the longest commercial flights in the world.
Turkish Airlines will configure its Boeing 787-9s in a two-class layout, seating 300 passengers—30 in Business Class and 270 in Economy. The airline expects to introduce its all-new Business Class seat once this plane is delivered.
In April 2018, Turkish Airlines moved to the brand-new Istanbul Airport, one of the largest asset moves in commercial aviation history. The carrier currently flies to 304 destinations in 122 countries and carries over 60 million passengers each year.