Can you introduce us to GE Aviation’s operations in Turkey’s aerospace and defense market?

GE made its first investment in Turkey’s aviation industry in 1985 through a joint venture with Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) in Eskisehir. Currently, TEI is a leading manufacturing shop that delivers over 700 high-tech and complex parts to the commercial and military aerospace sectors, performs military engine maintenance, overhaul, assembly, and testing. This partnership has helped Turkey to strengthen its capability to export aviation parts globally, with export volume reaching $250 million by the end of 2014. GE Aviation has also established the Turkish Technology Center (TTC) in 2000, one of only nine engineering centers of GE worldwide, which focuses on promoting aviation-related research and development (R&D) and innovation. We support our aircraft, marine, and industrial engines throughout their lifecycle with over 350 highly skilled Turkish engineers. GE Aviation has a large install base on military and commercial engines operated by the Turkish Armed Forces and powers more than 60% of commercial airlines in Turkey.

How will the recently established innovation center in Turkey impact GE Aviation’s overall R&D capabilities in the country?

The innovation center is one of eight that GE has globally, and it is a place where we can collaborate with customers in different industries to derive solutions to their challenges. The center is part of GE’s announced $900 million investment commitment to Turkey.

What are the greatest advantages offered by Turkey to GE Aviation?

Turkey is a dynamic country with highly skilled and well-educated people. The Turkish economy is growing quickly, which positively impacts the aviation industry. GE is a global company operating in 175 countries with more than 300,000 employees inventing the next industrial era to build, move, power and cure the world. We have great talent from all over the world, including the Middle East, who are well-educated and knowledgeable about the culture of the region, our customers, and their needs.

How widely is the new LEAP engine being used today, and how will greater use of the engine affect the aerospace supply chain?

CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Snecma, manufactures the LEAP engine. Currently, CFM International’s engines are widely used on the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft. GE and CFM International have developed the next generation in engine technology, the LEAP engine, which has composite fan blades that are significantly lighter than metal fan blades, bringing additional reliability and saving customers fuel. GE has received approximately 9,500 engine orders on three platforms: Boeing MAX, Airbus NEO, and COMAC. In Turkey, the LEAP engine has already been selected and ordered by Turkish Airlines, Sun Express, and Pegasus for various platforms. GE is expanding its supplier network to deliver on time to airframers and customers, and TEI in Eskisehir has become designated as a manufacturing facility for LEAP engine blisks, our latest compressor technology that reduces weight and improves fuel efficiency.

Can you tell us about GE’s strategic growth plan for its aviation business in Turkey?

GE has been a key investor in Turkey since 1948, when we partnered with Koc Group and Isbank to establish a light bulb factory. Throughout the past 65 years, we have played an integral role in supporting Turkey’s economic and social development, and we are committed to continuing this support through strong partnerships, localization, and innovation.

As part of this commitment, GE Aviation has already made significant investments in Turkey, including partnerships with TEI in the 1980s and TTC in 2000. We plan to continue investing in both entities in terms of technology, engineering, innovation, and talent development to support the growth of Turkey’s aviation industry. Through these investments, we believe that we can play a key role in helping Turkey to achieve its infrastructure development targets and drive economic growth.

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