Turkish-German carrier eyes expansion to back tourism
Antalya-based SunExpress was founded as a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Germany’s Lufthansa in 1989. The carrier flies to 90 destinations in more than 30 countries.
SunExpress CEO Jens Bischof said that the company will operate direct flights from 16 points in Turkey to 36 destinations in Europe with adding new routes in the upcoming summer.
He remarked that the carrier offered 5 million seats to the touristic regions of Turkey last summer season.
“We will now continue to support Turkish tourism to get back to record breaking numbers in 2019,” said Bischof.
The statement also said that the company will also start connecting Dalaman and Bodrum to Europe by March 2019.
The carrier will add new Anatolian destinations to its flight network as direct scheduled flights to Anatolia is the fastest growing market of SunExpress.
Pointing the importance of Turkish customers living in Europe, Bischof said:
“Compared to last summer, we will offer 30 percent or almost 1 million more seats to this beautiful part of Turkey.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s national flag carrier carried 69.7 million passengers from January to November 2018, the company has announced.
The total number of passengers carried by Turkish Airlines rose 10 percent in the first 11 months of the year over the same period in 2017.
“Excluding international-to-international transfer [transit] passengers, number of international passengers went up significantly by 12 percent,” the airline said.
The airline’s seat occupancy rate -passenger load factor - surged 3 percentage points to 82 percent over the same period.
The company also stated that the cargo/mail carried in the 11-month period totaled 1.3 million tons with a 25-percent annual hike.
Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries. Last year, the airline carried 68.6 million passengers with a 79.1 percent seat occupancy rate.