November 18, 2019: Antalya-based carrier SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines is exercising options for 10 additional B737 MAX 8 airplanes at the Dubai Airshow to continue renewing its fleet. The purchase, valued at $1.2 billion according to list prices, adds to a previous SunExpress order for 32 MAX airplanes.
"We have a long-standing, strong and trustful relationship with Boeing and thus we decided to turn our option into an order. We stand behind our strategic decision to phase the 737 MAX into our fleet for all of its economic and ecological advantages, mid- and long-term," said Jens Bischof, CEO of SunExpress. "We have full confidence that Boeing will deliver us a safe, reliable, and efficient aircraft. However, it goes without saying that this requires the undisputed airworthiness of the model, granted by all relevant authorities."
The airline, which specialises in offering direct connections between Europe, Turkey and popular holiday destinations, has achieved significant growth in recent years as it steadily expanded its fleet of mainly B737 airplanes. Last year, SunExpress' passenger count climbed to nearly 10 million across roughly 100 destinations.
"We are honoured and humbled by the trust that SunExpress has placed in our team at Boeing. They have been a wonderful partner over the years, demonstrating every day the efficiency and reliability of the Boeing 737 across their growing network," said Stan Deal, president & CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We regret the impact the MAX grounding has had on SunExpress and its passengers. The Boeing team is working hard to safely return the airplane to service and providing the capacity for SunExpress to continue serving as the backbone of air travel in the Turkish tourism industry."
The 737 MAX 8 is part of a family of airplanes that offer 130 to 230 seats and the ability to fly up to 3,850 nautical miles (7,130 kilometres). With improvements such as the CFM International LEAP-1B engine and advanced technology winglets, the 737 MAX provides operators a 14 percent improvement over today's most efficient single-aisle airplanes and extended range to open up new destinations.
Besides offering non-stop services between Europe and Turkey, SunExpress has been serving destinations on the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, North Africa, and the Red Sea coasts for almost 30 years. It operates 84 aircraft serving 90 destinations in 30 countries.