(eTN) – Turkish Airlines has reportedly prevailed upon their immigration service in changing visa rules for African citizens, flying with Turkish from the airline’s growing network across the African continent, connecting in Istanbul for their final destination.
A source close to the airline in Kampala confirmed, while discussing the related issue of a Turkish Food Festival, that any passenger, wishing to do a stopover in Istanbul, or travel to see the ancient sites along the Mediterranean Sea and further inland, could now do so, as long as s/he already holds a valid Schengen visa, a visa to the United States or the UK.
This change in policy seems to emulate the successful campaign Emirates has been running for decades now in which they assist travelers from Africa with the procurement of a visitor visa, and Turkey will have taken a lead from this success and now implemented measures to bring more visitors and more cash into their own country.
Travelers from Africa, especially those already cleared for visa to Europe, the UK and the US/Canada pose a minimal risk to jump and remain while enroute outbound or homebound, and it was probably for such considerations that the Turkish authorities listened to Turkish Airlines in their quest to capture more passengers and bring more visitors to Turkey.
The airline presently flies several times a week between Istanbul and Entebbe, before flying on to Dar es Salaam.
Alongside these changes, Turkey has also of late embarked on a diplomatic offensive in those African countries they fly to, bringing in government and private sector delegations aimed to discuss increased trade links, tourism, and generally closer economic and political ties with key African countries. Turkish Airlines has one of the fastest-growing fleets and is a member of Star Alliance, the global aviation industry leader.