Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) has announced in a stock market disclosure that it has reached an agreement with Boeing to substantially reduce its outstanding B737 MAX order backlog and defer the delivery of those still on order.

The airline said that 10 orders would be cancelled altogether while a further 40 have been converted into options exercisable through December 21, 2021. Following these two changes, Turkish's total MAX firm order backlog dropped from the initial 75 aircraft to just 25.

Out of the 25, Turkish Airlines took delivery of eleven B737-8s and one B737-9 prior to the types' grounding in March 2019. It has now said that the remaining 13 deliveries will be deferred "in line with the operational and financial capacity", without providing any further details.

The airline did not respond to ch-aviation's request for clarification concerning the types of the remaining 13 units on firm order and the 40 optioned aircraft. The original order of 75 aircraft was due to comprise sixty-five B737-8s and ten -9s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.

Turkish Airlines restarted B737 MAX operations on April 15, 2021. TC-LCA (msn 60032) was initially deployed exclusively on domestic flights out of Istanbul New. On April 18, the airline returned the type to international operations, using it on its Istanbul-Cologne/Bonn service, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. So far, only two B737-8s have been reactivated.

The Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation (Sivil Havacılık Genel Müdürlüğü - SHGM) approved the resumption of B737 MAX operations in the country on April 9, 2021.