Following Turkey’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation Aviation (DGCA) decision to recertify Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, Turkey’s flagship carrier Turkish Airlines restarted Boeing 737 MAX operations.

On April 15, 2021, Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, registered as TC-LCA, took off from Istanbul Airport (IST) with 96 passengers onboard and landed at Ankara Esenboga International Airport (ESB), marking the first Turkish Airlines 737 MAX operation since the aircraft grounding in 2019. 

Additionally, chief executive officer of Turkish Airlines Bilal Ekşi was among passengers taking the  airline’s first Boeing 737 MAX flight. 

Currently, Turkey’s national carrier has a total of 11 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet, according to the Planespotter.net data. 10 out of 11 are still parked at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ISL) and Istanbul Airport (IST).

Previously, Turkish Airlines was among the biggest buyers of Boeing 737 MAX airplanes wanting to purchase 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkish Airlines and Boeing came to an agreement to review the order. According to the newest information laid out on April 15, 2021, 10 of the 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will be cancelled and 40 aircraft will be converted into options until December 21, 2021.

“The delivery dates of currently undelivered 13 B737 MAX aircraft, have been rescheduled in line with the operational and financial capacity of our Incorporation,” read Turkish Airlines statement.

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