Turkish Airlines unveils bold plan to strengthen Türkiye’s aerospace industry

Turkish Airlines sets up the Strategic Turkey Enhanced Programme (STEP)

Turkish Airlines has revealed its ambition to establish Turkey as a key player in the aerospace industry after launching a new initiative with Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

The companies have set up the Strategic Turkey Enhanced Programme (STEP) to create more high-skilled jobs and foster innovation in aerospace, in line with Turkish Airlines’ plan to increase the sector’s contribution to Türkiye’s economy.

The programme was unveiled during a meeting at Turkish Airlines’ headquarters in Istanbul, featuring government officials and senior figures from Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

Among the attendees were Prof. Ömer Bolat, Turkish Minister of Trade, and Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Minister of Industry and Technology.

Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, and Bilal Durdalı, Deputy Minister of National Defence, were also present along with representatives from leading Turkish aerospace companies.

They were joined by the British Consul General and undersecretaries of France and Spain.

Commenting on STEP and the partnership with Rolls-Royce, Prof. Ahmet Bolat, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, said: “Launching STEP with Airbus is a testament to our deepening collaboration with the aircraft manufacturer.

“It marks our commitment to helping develop Turkish aviation companies into prospective suppliers, aligning closely with Airbus’ strategic objectives and their newly identified business domains.

“We are also delighted to further strengthen our relationship with Rolls-Royce.

“By joining forces with the manufacturing giants, we underscore our commitment to both excellence and the further development of Türkiye’s aerospace capabilities.

“With the significant cooperation between three valuable companies, Turkish Airlines will continue to leverage advanced technologies and collaborative strategies to enhance our operational efficiencies and contribute to continuing our sustainable growth while reinforcing our leading role on the global aviation stage.”

Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO, said: “We are honoured to support the growth of one of the world‘s elite airlines and develop our partnership with Türkiye through the new STEP programme.

“The programme will provide the framework for Airbus to further broaden its collaboration with Türkiye and to support Turkish Airlines’ growth ambitions, with a particular focus on supply chain development, skills and sustainability.”

Tufan Erginbilgiç, Rolls-Royce CEO, said: “Turkey is a strategically important market for Rolls-Royce across our business.

“We are very pleased with the confidence that Turkish Airlines has placed in our Trent XWB engines.

“We now look forward to working with Turkish Airlines and our partners to use our extensive aerospace engineering experience to benefit the Turkish economy, grow the country’s skills base and expand its role in the energy transition.”