Turkish Airlines chairman bullish on carrier’s growth
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Airlines is hearing interest from outside companies looking to form an air carrier, its chairman İlker Aycı told state-run Anadolu Agency.
“We’re hearing things from outside. There are those who want to establish an airline with us or be acquired by us. We are examining such opportunities,” Aycı said on June 19.
But he also said Turkish Airlines has no interest in troubled Italian flag carrier Alitalia, saying it is “not a main target right now.”
According to Aycı, Istanbul’s under-construction third airport, expected to be finished in the first half of next year, will boost Turkish Airlines’ growth and carry it to greater heights.
Turkey’s flag carrier aims to carry 69 million passengers in 2017, up from 62.7 million last year, closing the year with single-digit growth, he added.
He noted that the airline is flying to 51 different destinations in Africa and is looking to add more.
“We have covered almost all of Europe, where we fly to 113 destinations,” Aycı said, adding that Turkish Airlines will continue to strengthen its network in Latin America.
On the airlines’ promotion, he said there might be new projects in oncoming terms with the brand’s advertisement face, YouTube and Vine star Zach King, and noted that they had saved money in their advertising budget last year.
According to projections, Istanbul’s third airport will host 2,000 flights a day and over 100 million passengers annually via 250 airlines once the first phase of construction is completed in early 2018.
Turkish Airlines currently has a fleet of 337 aircraft operating to over 302 destinations – over 250 international – and flies to 120 countries, more than any other airline.