SunExpress expects rebound in Turkish tourism in 2017
ISTANBULTurkey’s tourist industry is set for a rebound in 2017 following difficult times in 2016, according to the general manager of SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
“We believe Turkey will become a very attractive holiday destination in 2017 when both quality and price are considered. SunExpress is an important tourism partner for Turkey. Additionally, it is a strong partner in the Turkish business world and will remain so. We trust that every aspect of tourism will improve in 2017. In this respect, we are not considering downsizing; on the contrary, we will do our utmost to remain capable of meeting improving demand in a timely manner,” said Jens Bischof in a press statement.
The company “has proven that it is an important catalyst for Turkish tourism even in a year like 2016, in which many tough ups and downs were experienced in Turkey. Flying the greatest number of tourists to the Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey via scheduled and direct flights, SunExpress contributed a great deal to Turkish tourism by welcoming onboard one of every five tourists from Western Europe in 2016,” the statement read.
“Despite all the hardships and tough conditions encountered in 2016, we continued our flights with determination. When compared to the previous year, we carried 8 million passengers with a slight decrease of 9 percent compared with 2015, which is a respectable accomplishment in such a rough year,” said Bischof.
Bischof also said that while the decline in the tourism sector in Antalya, Turkey’s top tourism destination, reached 30 percent in 2016, SunExpress only suffered a 9 percent decline in Antalya while increasing its market share to 36 percent.
“Our market share in our transfer center, İzmir, increased to 76 percent. We, as SunExpress, will continue to focus on Turkey as our main capital in 2017 and will continue welcoming tourists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with 450 scheduled flights a week,” he added.
Still, Bischof admitted that there were fewer tourists considering Turkey as a holiday destination.
“On the other hand, there is a limited amount of capacity at other holiday destinations in the Western Mediterranean region. This in turn causes prices to increase,” he said.
Together with SunExpress Germany, which was founded in 2011, SunExpress boasts a flexible fleet structure.
The airline also operates in Egypt and Bulgaria, which have respective market shares of 30 percent and 26 percent each, Bischof said.
He also expressed his support for the “bring your family too” campaign, which has highlighted direct scheduled flights from 13 Turkish cities to 40 different cities in Germany, where more than 3 million Turks currently reside.
“We therefore naturally support ‘bring your family too’ campaign. We act as a bridge for those who want to spend their holidays with their families and friends in their native land. Thus, we want to continue our promotional offers to enable them to spend their holidays in Turkey,” said Bischof.
The campaign was launched by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Six brand new B737-800 will also join the SunExpress fleet in 2017, officials said.