Turkish Airlines dismisses stake sale
The country’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) has dismissed reports regarding the sale of a stake of the company.
“There have been rumors recently that the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Turkey plans to sell its 49 percent shares of Turkish Airlines to a foreign airline. These rumors, which have been shared and repeated continuously on social media including those shared on March 20, do not represent the truth,” the carrier said in a filing with the stock exchange yesterday.
“We announce that this unprofessionally prepared news, which primarily has been formed to damage our brand and our market value, will be dealt with all our legal rights,” the statement added.
Turkish Airlines is one of the major players in the global aviation industry.
The carrier, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries.
Last year, the company carried 75.2 million passengers with a seat occupancy rate of 82 percent, and this year aims to reach 80 million passengers on domestic and international routes.
The airline’s net profit reached 4.04 billion Turkish Liras ($753 million) last year, up from 639 million liras in 2017.
Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, its CEO, Bilal Ekşi, said on March 20.
Ekşi said the company also contributes to Turkey’s tourism sector with every flight.
“We don’t just carry passengers, but also culture, tourism, and develop business with entrepreneurs.”
He also said the country’s national flag carrier is one of Turkey’s most influential “soft power” tools.
Ekşi stressed that Turkish Airlines currently has a fleet of over 330 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes, an over fivefold rise from its fleet of 65 in 2003.
“In terms of fleet size, our company is the number 10 airline in the world,” he said.