Turkish Airlines is increasing its 777 Freighter fleet by 50% with an order for four of the aircraft from Boeing as it seeks to meet growing cargo demand. 

The airline will take its 777F fleet up to 12 aircraft with the order and add 408 metric tons to its total cargo lift capacity, building on an order for five A350Fs from Airbus last year. 

Ali Türk, Turkish’s chief cargo officer, said: “This new investment in expanding our cargo fleet underscores our commitment to meeting the growing global demand for air freight services. 

“The addition of these Boeing 777 Freighters will not only enhance our operational capabilities, [they will] serve as another step in our strategic vision to reach the top of [the] air cargo sector worldwide.” 

Turkish cited the rapid growth of e-commerce and a need for “efficient and reliable transportation” for its investment into expanding its cargo fleet and said the addition of new aircraft would allow it to reduce costs and optimise its operations. 

The International Air Transport Association has also highlighted the growth of the air cargo industry in recent years and released data showing a sharp upward growth in demand in May, with cargo tonne-kilometres up 14.7% year-on-year

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In addition to supporting Turkish’s move to rise up the air cargo rankings, the order will also be welcomed by Boeing as the manufacturer continues to try and improve its reputation, damaged by months of bad press over quality control concerns at its production lines. 

Most recently, the US company revealed a $4.7bn takeover bid for supplier Spirit AeroSystems that would bring its operations back under the Boeing banner after being spun-out in 2005.

Paul Righi, vice president of Boeing Commercial Sales for Eurasia, said: “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Turkish Airlines and support its expansion of cargo operations with the addition of Boeing 777 Freighters.”