ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Seabird airline has started Turkey’s first sea-land integrated airline transportation by flying from Istanbul to Alaçatı. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Seabird Airlines, an airline company that has brought sea-land integrated airline transportation to Turkey for the first time started its flights yesterday, with a flight from Istanbul to the Aegean province of Alaçatı.
Taking off from the Golden Horn waterway in Istanbul with 14 passengers at around 11:30 a.m., the aircraft arrived in the Aegean province of İzmir’s Alaçatı district after a one-and-a-half-hour flight.
Director General of Seabird Airlines Kürşad Arusan made a press statement about their first planned flight, in which he said a one way ticket from Istanbul to Alaçatı cost 227 Turkish Liras, including taxes.
“We don’t plan to provide cheap flying services due to the costs of our aircrafts and investments. Our aim is to make Turkish people experience the pleasure of flying in an aircraft with affordable prices. Our planned lines are initially Istanbul-Alaçatı and Alaçatı-Bodrum. We also have demands for Ayvalık. Other destinations will be set off over time. This year, we will bring our second aircraft into service. Our pilots even have the experience of flying from the Maldives to the North Pole. They were trained specifically and must have at least 10,000 hours of flight experience. We are planning to hand over this job to Turkish pilots by providing them with necessary training. Apart from landing in water, our aircrafts can land in asphalted, sandy and snowy runways by attaching the necessary equipment. We also have some surprises for the winter season. Our target is to carry a total of 3,000 passengers by the end of October. We plan to increase our number of aircrafts to 10 by 2015,” he said.
Neşe Sagat, a passenger who answered journalists’ questions before the take-off, said she was excited. “I believe everything will be OK. I am just a little anxious about the possibility of shaking, since we are used to bigger aircraft. There is no check-in trouble. We came here 30 minutes before the flight and will land near our hotel. It is a great luxury. After this flight, I will decide on whether I will use this airway or not in the future,” she said.
“Honestly, I just learned that it will be the first planned flight. This sounds a little frightening, but it is a great facility,” another passenger Ceren Arık said.