Fleet growth at Lufthansa-Turkish SunExpress

Leisure airline signs contract to buy 50 new Boeing aircraft

The German-Turkish leisure-based airline SunExpress says it has made an important decision for the further development of the company. The joint company of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines has placed orders for 50 aircraft from Boeing, including 40 firm orders and 10 options.

The order includes 25 Boeing 737-800NG (New Generation) aircraft and 15 of the 737-8 MAX aircraft type, which is currently being developed by Boeing as the latest model in this production series. The option applies to 10 of the 737-8 MAXs.

“We are moving towards the 25th anniversary of our airline and are now setting the course of our further development in future, which is clearly targeted for profitable growth,” said the airline’s managing director Paul Schwaiger.

The order marks the first time SunExpress has made a decision to buy planes on a large scale. Up to now, the majority of the fleet consisted of leased aircraft. Only six of the current 63 SunExpress aircraft are owned by the company.

“In the present market environment purchasing is considerably more economical than leasing,” Schwaiger explained. “Twenty-four years ago we started to fly tourists to Turkey with a brand-new Boeing 737. Ten years later the company began to operate the new released 737-800NG. Now, with the new orders SunExpress [is starting to renew] its entire fleet and also add the latest achievement of Boeing, the B 737-8 MAX aircraft.”