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Efforts Accelerate To Increase Traffic

Turkish Airlines set to expand in Africa

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Dec 23, 2009

The Turkish national airline some time ago commenced flights into Kenya, following the withdrawal from the route of Kenya Airways in 2008, offering nonstop services between Istanbul and Nairobi. Some weeks ago, the ambassador of Turkey in Tanzania was also reported to have said that Turkish Airlines may even consider adding Dar es Salaam to their growing Africa network.

During a meeting in Brussels on the occasion of SN joining Star Alliance, the opportunity arose to have a chat with Dr. Temel Kotil about the airline’s plans in that direction.

In past years, Turkish Airlines has shed its old image and rebranded itself successfully as an upcoming global airline, no surprise for regular aviation observers as they have a joint venture airline, SunExpress, with Lufthansa, aimed mainly at the leisure market from Germany and other source markets to Turkey’s Mediterranean coastal resorts and in operation now already since 1989.

The CEO further confirmed that as more new aircraft come online - the airline expects delivery of 9 more wide bodies in 2010 and 10 more in 2011 - they are keen to expand their Africa network, which they intend to feed from across the CIS states and other source markets, as their efforts accelerate to increase their transit traffic via Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines has both A330s and B777s on order to cater to the different capacity demand on their present and future network. Dr. Temel Kotil was guarded, however, as to time frames and potential destinations – something his competitors would surely have been keen to read about. What Dr. Kotil did confirm though was that their cost basis was substantially lower compared to the main European airlines, which he termed as the foundation for success. Watch this space for breaking news.

Turkish Airlines set to expand in Africa
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