Airline’s target for new destinations in Africa increased from 5 to 10
As a Star Alliance Airline member which arrived on the world stage almost by stealth and has become THE carrier with the widest international network, beating the likes of Emirates to that present tit
As a Star Alliance Airline member which arrived on the world stage almost by stealth and has become THE carrier with the widest international network, beating the likes of Emirates to that present title, Turkish Airlines has progressively pushed into Africa, and from the latest information at hand seeks, to further strengthen that position in 2015.
Already one of the airlines’ main markets with sustained growth, Turkish’ Airlines CEO Dr. Temel Kotil, moved the goal posts for next year when he announced during the week that instead of adding just 5 destinations in Africa the airline would seek to double that number next year, without being specific though as to new countries or cities.
Using mainly their B737NG fleet, deploying the B737-800 and the larger B737-900 on many of their existing routes into Africa, Turkish has, in spite of the perception of lower comfort standards in a single-aisle aircraft versus a twin-aisle aircraft, managed to become one of the strongest foreign carriers flying across Africa, in part because of fares, in part because of service expectations – raised at times beyond reality through their smart advertising campaigns – and in part because they do offer almost instant connections out of their Istanbul hub to literally any corner of the globe.
It is there that the main challenge now rests for them as their current hub is becoming increasingly congested and only when in a few years’ time the new Istanbul airport is open, purpose built to cater for Turkish to have a hub airport commensurate to their global standing, will that challenge be satisfactorily resolved.
Meanwhile Turkish remains an airline to be closely watched as they continue to roll out across Africa, with the Turkish business community in tow to establish trade AND political links on the continent.