Turkish Airlines Expanding, Eyes Washington

Feb 2, 2009
Neelam Mathews/New Delhi mathews.neelam@gmail.com

Turkish Airlines intends to add 10 new routes to Istanbul in 2009, including Nairobi, Sao Paulo, Toronto and Dacca, India.

Starting in April, Chicago-Istanbul, presently three times a week, will be increased to a daily as Turkish is planning to use Chicago as its transfer hub in place of New York. "We are hopeful of holding talks in March, following which we hope to start four flights a week to Washington, D.C., CEO Temel Kotil told AviationWeek.

It has also increased frequencies to daily on flights to New Delhi and Mumbai, beginning today, up from three and four per week, respectively, and is beefing up service to Brussels, Venice, Helsinki, Basel, Dublin, Kuwait and Addis Ababa.

The launch of dailies to Mumbai and Delhi on new A330s, replacing the old A310s, will increase seats to India by 20%, Kotil said. "We are using all our bilateral rights to India, if there are more, we could use more."

Certain that "Istanbul will be a hub in 10 years," Kotil said, "More than half the passengers transit through Istanbul for Europe and Russia. It is almost like the ancient Silk Route which used to pass from Asia to Europe via Turkey."

THY had 109 aircraft flying to 144 destinations in 2008, and in 2009 it will fly 127 aircraft to 155 destinations. "Every year we grow by 15%," said Kotil. This year, we're hiring 1,400 cabin attendants and 300 captains." There are savings for the carrier as newcomers come cheaper in tough financial times.

Looking at increasing his transit passenger base from 42% of total passengers to 50%, Kotil says Turkish has not reduced its quality, but with competitive fares and a tight expenditure policy, his carrier is now looking at making a decision by March for 105 aircraft (85 plus 20 options). Of these, 35 will be widebodies.

Photo credit for Turkish Airlines A330: Turkish Airlines

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented