Sunday 7 May 2023

Turkish Airlines will fly to Sydney or Melbourne this year


On the 21st of September 2018 I posted a story about how Turkish Airlines hoped to start flights to Australia by the end of 2019. Obviously with Covid, this didn't happen, but it looks like it's going to happen now. 

Turkish Airlines intends to launch flights from Istanbul to either Sydney or Melbourne by the end of 2023, with plans to serve both cities as the market develops – and right now, Melbourne appears to be the front-runner.

“We think it’s time to show the Turkish Airlines logo in Australia,” Chairman Ahmet Bolat remarked overnight following a visit from an Australian delegation including Victoria’s Governor.

“Among the topics we discussed at our meeting, the inclusion of Australian cities in our ever-expanding flight network was the foremost, and we focused on Melbourne in particular.”

“If the delivery of our new generation wide-body aircraft is done as promised by the manufacturers, we aim to start with three flights a week from Istanbul to Sydney or Melbourne before the end of 2023.”

Those flights would involve a stopover in Asia – Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are considered the most likely candidates – and would rely on either the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Non-stop flights to follow.

But Bolat hopes to eventually skip the stopover and launch non-stop Istanbul-Sydney and Istanbul-Melbourne flights using a forthcoming order of ultra-long range jets.

“Our main goal is to fly directly to both Sydney and Melbourne every day, with the production of a new generation of ultra-long-range aircraft,” he stated. “If aircraft manufacturers do not increase their productivity, we have another five years for that.”

“We need to see the Boeing 777X or Airbus A350-1000’s proof of its maturity,” Bolat remarked in June 2022 at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association.

“Whenever we make a decision on one of those aircraft, it will be the right one at the right time. Let’s see how both types develop. We don’t need to be a launch customer.”

Bolat aims to bring to fruition Turkish Airlines’ long-held ambition to connect Istanbul to Australia, noting that the airline “carried 120,837 passengers in 2019 and 118,847 passengers in 2022 with airlines with codeshare agreements from Australia, where we do not have direct flights yet.”

This hints at the untapped potential for Turkish Airlines to add Australia to its network map.

“Both Sydney and Melbourne are two beautiful cities that have a great contribution to our country and our company.”

“Flying to these destinations, even if via connecting, will increase the quality of service we offer and reduce our ‘profit’ a little. Despite this, in December of this year, there was a certain will in the senior management to increase the number of continents under our wings to six.”

In announcing plans for flights between Turkey and Australia, Bolat also cited “the rapid development of cooperation opportunities between the two countries in areas such as tourism, trade and education.”

Turkish Airlines is generally held in high regard by business class travellers and offers an extensive network from its Istanbul hub.

Another appealing twist on the popular Kangaroo Route will take wing by mid-2024 with the launch of direct flights between Tel Aviv and Melbourne by Israeli airline El Al, creating the first non-stop link between Israel and Australia.

No comments:

Post a Comment