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Undelivered Aeroflot Airbus A350s Going To Turkish Airlines

While no official announcement has been made stating that Airbus A350s built for Aeroflot will go to Turkish Airlines, we’ve now seen confirmation that this is, in fact, taking place. An A350 was spotted in Toulouse with Turkish Airlines branding. However, the colors of the aircraft’s tail and engines (not to mention its MSN and test registration) were clear indications that the jet was originally built for Aeroflot.

A hybrid livery

On May 20th, AIB Family Flights reported spotting the Airbus A350 in its hybrid livery. The aircraft with MSN 457 and test registration F-WZNJ now has Turkish Airlines plastered across the front section of its fuselage, along with a small Turkish flag just to the side, as per the airline’s livery. However, the A350-900 lacks the white engine cowlings and red tail representative of the carrier’s standard paint scheme. Instead, the aircraft sports a solid dark blue on both the tail and engines.

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Whether or not you recognize the dark blue as part of Aeroflot’s colors, the test registration and MSN provide us with solid confirmation that at least one of the Russian carrier’s undelivered Airbus A350-900s has been sold off to Turkish Airlines. Indeed, it was on May 7th that we first reported a pair of former Aeroflot A350s being moved out of storage at Châteauroux and moved to Toulouse. Our guess at the time was that the jets had been sold off and were being repainted and reconfigured to the customers’ respective livery and cabin. Some two weeks later, it appears that this is the case.

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Will Turkish Airlines take all of Aeroflot’s A350s?

After our May 7th article, we also noted last week that a third A350 ordered by Aeroflot was moved from storage on May 12th. Now, with a total of three A350s in Aeroflot colors being moved from storage and a fourth (MSN 493) having stayed in Toulouse, the next question is if Turkish Airlines will take all of these jets. Indeed, at this moment in time, we’ve only seen MSN 457 in this “half” Turkish Airlines livery.

To answer this question, we need only look back at a report from earlier this week that confirmed Turkish Airlines had ordered six A50-900s. This was somewhat surprising given that the carrier had actually canceled part of its A350 order earlier in the year. However, with air travel making massive recoveries and gains around the world (likely due to pent-up demand), it’s increasingly clear that the airline has changed course and backtracked on its conservative fleet plan. Thus, looking at Turkish Airlines’ announcement and the fact that more ex-Aeroflot A350s have yet to be claimed, it’s more than likely all four will find their new home at Istanbul Airport. Due to the fact that these jets were orphaned, we can imagine that Airbus sold them off to Turkish Airlines at an attractive price. But of course, that’s just a guess!

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Turkish Airlines has six Airbus A350s in service at the moment. Photo: Airbus

While MSN 457 is the only jet we’ve seen thus far, the other A350s to keep an eye out for are as follows:

  • MSN 493 (Test registration F-WZGY)
  • MSN 471 (Test registration F-WZGB)
  • and MSN 463 (Test registration F-WZFP)

Our other guesses

While some had speculated that Turkish Airlines could be the future customer of these A350s, others had written the airline off. While we hadn’t ruled the airline out completely, it did seem like Lufthansa or Air India were more likely candidates for the former Aeroflot aircraft. Again, we’ll just have to wait and keep an eye out for any future order announcements in the near future.

Are you surprised by Turkish Airlines’ acquisition of this A350? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

Source: AIB Family Flights


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