Sydney is the next destination for THY

Sydney is the next destination for THY

Uğur Cebeci
Turkish Airlines (THY) is extending its flight network to Sydney, Australia in 2018. 

“We keep growing without arguing with anyone,” said THY Board of Manager and Executive Committee President İlker Aycı, when we recently met in London.

“We only have one goal and that is the trust and comfort of our passengers. We do not have plans to do anything that will violate the conditions of competition with disputes or any kind of damage,” said Aycı. 

THY does not have plans to become a giant airline, according to the president. “We do not have anything to do with the 800-1000 aircraft fleets in the United States nor the airlines in China. We are growing within our own geography,” he said.

“We will grow in Asia. We will fly to more points in Latin America. We are going to extend the success we have grasped in Africa to that continent as well,” Aycı added.

“We would have started flying to Sydney last year but we had faced many problems such as terror and the coup attempt. Therefore, we had postponed it. Next year, we will fly there for sure,” he said.

They are also planning to add Mexico City in Latin America as another destination. “We will connect that flight with Cancun. Since it is a very high airport, it is not possible to fly directly from Mexico City. Instead, we plan to have a direct flight by refueling in Cancun,” the president said.

THY is the sixth airline to carry the most passengers in the industry.

“We have a lower price policy than many other companies. We are also very careful about purchasing power in our geography. We do not have adventurous, dreamy prices. At the moment, our occupancy rates are heading to the top,” said Aycı.

He also shared plans concerning Anadolujet. “We will design Anadolujet from scratch. We will recreate it completely with its color, image and flight destinations. I like Norwegian Airlines, which flies short and long distances with low costs. We will create a similar but more advanced model,” he said.

It seems Aycı has experienced some problems with THY too, but does not complain. “Sometimes it is difficult for me to find a couple of seats in business or economy class. At times, I also have to change my flight to another hour or day due to full occupancy. I enjoy this very much,” Aycı said.

“Lost luggage is very minor over the holidays. It is really not much compared to other airlines. Of course, our aim is to have none. But most of them originate from companies outside our operations,” said the president.

“We recently hired more than 1,500 personnel. The number of our employees increased 9 percent last year and 5 percent this year. Our productivity has increased 6 percent,” he said.

Aydın also said their growth as a cargo carrier had reached double figures and transport points have risen 55-60.  Their cargo flights are quickly increasing and their goal in 2023 is to be among the top five carriers, he said.
We are quickly moving our passengers who are cardholders of the special passenger program to empty business class seats. Our goal is to have them accustomed to it. We want them to see this is worth the cost. We have warned all of our stations regarding this. Aside from cross flights, we want to fly from Gaziantep to Beirut or to a point in Iraq. We want to have flights from our northern cities to the south of Russia. We are working on suitable airplane types and we are also looking at regions,” said Aydın.

Aycı was a guest on the BBC in London. He reminded us of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s words, “We do not want Turkey to enter the European Union,” on the BBC World program, “Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst.”

“I do not think Turkey’s EU membership process is at Merkel’s disposal. Turkey has social and economic connections with the EU that are difficult to ignore. Sooner or later, Turkey’s meaning for the EU will be understood,” he said.