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July 23 2024 / 05:34 PM
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Simple Flying
The airline aims to increase its US routes to 20, with a focus on doubling capacity over the next decade

Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Türkiye, is undergoing a massive network expansion. In March, they added Austral Asia to their vast network, serving Melbourne via Singapore.


Boosting connectivity to existing destinations

This month, the Middle Eastern carrier showed interest in expanding into one of its other vital continents: North America.

According to Travel Weekly, Turkish Airlines has announced plans to include Minneapolis, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Orlando as future US destinations. Recently, they started operating flights to Denver three times per week, with a scheduled increase to four times weekly beginning on July 9. The addition of Denver brought the total number of US routes served by Turkish Airlines to 14, all originating from Istanbul.

On June 11, the chairman of the Turkish carrier, Ahmet Bolat, granted an exclusive interview to the newspaper in Denver. This interview took place on the same day that Turkish Airlines had its inaugural landing in Denver.

Bolat expressed confidence in the upcoming developments, although he refrained from providing a specific timeframe for these developments or the launch of Turkey's following US route. He emphasized that the priority would be to increase the frequency of the carrier's Istanbul-Detroit service, which commenced in November, aiming to make it a daily service from its current six times per week. Additionally, the focus would be increasing the daily Denver service.


Turkish Airlines is mega-connector

Turkish Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance, currently operates flights to 347 destinations across 130 countries. The airline made a substantial order of 75 Airbus widebody aircraft with options for an additional 15. In addition to these orders, Turkish Airlines is contemplating purchasing the Boeing 777x, pending its certification and performance evaluation.

These acquisitions are part of Turkish Airlines' ambitious plan to double its capacity over the next decade. This expansion strategy aims to grow the airline's current fleet of around 460 aircraft to approximately 810, including its subsidiary low-cost brand, AJet.

According to Bolat, in addition to expanding its US routes, Turkish Airlines intends to use its new widebody aircraft to increase its capacity in Africa and boost the frequency of flights across its entire network, particularly in Asia. By adding more flights, the air airline aims to strengthen its position in the market for East-West connections, where it competes with Emirates and Qatar Airways, among others.

Being 49% state-owned, Turkish Airlines also aims to use its growing fleet to add around 50 new destinations to its already extensive route network. However, as Bolat noted, the number of viable options is decreasing.


The future for Turkish airlines

In December 2023, Airbus secured the largest aircraft order of the month with Turkish Airlines, the national carrier of Turkey. The airline expanded its fleet with a significant order for 220 aircraft. This order comprised 150 A321neos, 50 A350-900s, 15 A350-100s, and five freighters.

This announcement followed two earlier orders from the airline, which included ten A350-900s in September and four A350-900s in July 2023.

Jun 18, 2024

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