Star – Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is planning to invest in a production plant in Turkey. Having received an order for 117 passenger planes from the Turkish Airlines (THY) in April, the company has acquired a plot of land in the European Free Zone (EFZ) in Turkey’s Thracian province of Tekirdag to manufacture various electronic and mechanical aircraft components via a subsidiary.
“Airbus has acquired an area of 10,000 square meters in EFZ.”, according to Kemal Sahin, the Chairman of Sahinler Holding, the owner and operator of Turkey’s largest private industry park. The company is expected to break ground for the production facility in the coming months, Sahin added.
Airbus Military, the military arm of Airbus, relies on Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara for the production of the various components of the A400M transport aircraft. TAI also manufactures body parts and ailerons for Airbus A350 and A320 airliners. Another Turkish company, Kale Aero produces auxiliary fuel tank walls for A320s in Istanbul, which are then assembled by the German aerospace company PFW’s Turkish division. PWF Turkey also assembles structural components of the A320 family in its Izmir plant.
Turkey’s national flag carrier THY now has the world’s most extensive flight network of nearly 230 destinations and is one of the fastest-growing airline companies in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. The company carried 39 million passengers in 2012, up 20 percent over the preceding year. These figures are expected to rise sharply once THY switches its main terminal from Ataturk Airport to Istanbul’s under-construction third airport, set to be largest in the world in terms of passenger capacity when it reaches operational status by 2017.