Turkish Airlines has a new business class seat on the way

By David Flynn, December 3 2018

January 22, 2019 | Turkish Airlines has pulled back the covers on its new business class seat, revealing a modern and spacious design with direct aisle access.

The seat will be fitted to Turkish Airlines' forthcoming Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 jets, with the first Dreamliners due mid-2019.

For more details, read our article profiling Turkish Airlines' new Boeing 787 and A350 business class seat.

PREVIOUS | Turkish Airlines will launch an all-new business class seat on its forthcoming Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 jets.

A 'new fleet, new seat' strategy will see the airline shift to a 1-2-1 business class layout with the arrival of the first Dreamliner in 2019.

The new seats will be both more competitive and more contemporary than the Star Alliance member's current international premium seating, which largely follows a 2-2-2 configuration and includes a middle seat 2-3-2 layout on its Boeing 777-300ERs.

"Our new business class product will have 1-2-1 seating layout instead the existing and will be featured both in the new Boeing 787 and the new Airbus A350 jets," Turkish Airlines' Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmuştur tells Australian Business Traveller.

"The design will be applied to the first received Boeing 787 jets in 2019."

Turkish Airlines executive Ahmet Olmuştur looks forward to the launch of a new 1-2-1 business class seat
Turkish Airlines executive Ahmet Olmuştur looks forward to the launch of a new 1-2-1 business class seat

Privacy is a priority

"High privacy is our priority," Olmuştur stresses. "We are still working on with our design partner for many different features such as individual enclosed storage areas and 44-inch knee distance."

However, Olmuştur says the new business class seat will be exclusive to the Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s and won't be retrofitted to the current Airbus A330, A340 or Boeing 777 fleet.

"We do not have any plan on the implementation of this new design for our existing aircraft, but so far we have a different retrofit project for the existing widebodies."

Turkish Airlines will begin flying the Boeing 787 from 2019
Turkish Airlines will begin flying the Boeing 787 from 2019

Turkish Airlines has signed up for as many as 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 30 Airbus A350-900s, with the first six Dreamliners joining the fleet from 2019 followed by an initial five Airbus A350s from 2020.

All 60 of the next-gen jetliners will be in place by 2024 and are intended to revitalise the airline's fleet while also providing room for growth.

Sydney is still on the radar

This may still include the airline's long-desired route to Sydney, which has been on-again and off-again for several years, with direct and stop-over flights both being considered.

"We would like to start direct flights to Sydney as soon as possible, as you may know," Olmuştur tells Australian Business Traveller.

"We are still working on some solution methods to start flights directly to there in a most optimal way. If we do not able to reach such an ideal solution in our short-term planning, which is our priority, we may focus on connecting flights."

New Istanbul airport to get an 'exclusive lounge'

With the opening of Istanbul New Airport currently slated for October 29 2018, Turkish Airlines will also embrace the opportunity to reinvent its flagship lounges to a point beyond the benchmark of today's sprawling two-level Lounge Istanbul.

Istanbul New Airport will get a new Turkish Airlines 'Exclusive Lounge'
Istanbul New Airport will get a new Turkish Airlines 'Exclusive Lounge'

In addition to domestic and international "CIP / business lounges" open to business class and top-tier frequent flyers, Olmuştur reveals that Turkish airlines will add a more exclusive lounge – which he fittingly calls the Exclusive Lounge – to deliver "a totally new private passenger lounge concept."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

21 Sep 2011

Total posts 65

Sliding doors? Sounds like Thompson Vantage XL+.
44" knee distance (which presumably means "pitch") is also consistent with Thompson Vantage XL since 44" is the minimum pitch at which the seat can be installed.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

23 May 2013

Total posts 41

A direct flight to Istanbul from Aus would open up so many one-stop options to smaller cities and regions in Europe with TKs extensive route map

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2018

Total posts 1

Flights to Brisbane would be great.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Jan 2017

Total posts 16

The new airport looks good!
The current IST airport isn't very attractive

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2014

Total posts 97

No, but their lounge has always been good.

06 Jan 2013

Total posts 9

Istanbul Ataturk Airport is modern, user friendly and was remarkably clean back in 2005 when I used it.

The basic problem is under capacity. The airport was built in 2000 with a capacity of some 20 million passengers per year, now it is operating almost three times as many due to Turkey's rise as an aviation hub. So the airport would be much better modernized and re-opened to handle fewer people, except rumour has it will be shut down.

09 May 2015

Total posts 34

Turkish pricing often isn't competitive with other carriers...at least Ex-Bangkok...and until these new planes are in service, the hard product hasn't been competitive either.

06 Jan 2013

Total posts 9

I like this new seating configuration, but my personal two cents worth is that the existing configuration of 2-2-2 is easier on the eye than these confusing staggering configurations.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

12 Jul 2016

Total posts 28

Having just used Turkish Business Class product 777-300 from Istanbul - Hong Kong - Istanbul - absolutely revolting - configuration 2 - 3 - 2 - uncomfortable seats / lie flats - retro fit these new ones TK -

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 102

Of more interest: when is TK going to fly to Australia?

24 Apr 2016

Total posts 23

It does feels a bit claustrophobic. I'm just never a fan of a chunky finishing on the seat.

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