Thermal barrier coatings are widely used in aircraft turbines to protect nickel-based superalloys from the effect of high temperature oxidation and hot corrosion. In this study, both NiCrAlY bond coat and yttria-stabilized zirconia top coat were deposited using atmospheric plasma spray technique. After coating production, specimens were exposed to oxidation in air atmosphere at 900 degrees C, 1000 degrees C and 1100 degrees C for different periods of time up to 50h. Microstructural transformations in the ceramic top coat and growth behavior of the thermally grown oxide layer were examined using scanning electron microscopy, porosity calculation, elemental mapping and hardness measurement. Formation of different types of oxides in the thermally grown oxide layer shows that this process strongly depends on deposition technique as well as on oxidation time and temperature. Hardness values of the top coat increased with a decrease in the porosity of the top coat. Uniformity and homogeneity of the thermally grown oxide layer and densification of the top coat were evaluated in terms of the structural durability of thermal barrier coating systems.