Adding New Routes:
In an interview with ASEANAFFAIRS, Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines, talks about growth opportunities amidst the industry downturn. The airlines’ recent aggressive route expansion and aggressive marketing drive in Southeast Asia is an encouraging signal for the aviation industry in the region.
Q: What are the reasons behind Turkish Airlines’ plans to introduce new routes and step up flights to Southeast Asian destinations, which is happening amidst the industry downturn?
In 2009, Turkish has launched flights to Nairobi , Dakar , Sao Paolo, Benghazi , Meshad, Toronto , Jakarta , Goteborg and Lviv. We are in the process of seeking new routes to add to our portfolio since we believe that more destinations will work best to nominate Istanbul as a truly regional and even global hub.
Q: What would you attribute Turkish Airlines’ continued growth in profit and passenger numbers to?
How are you adapting to the challenges facing the aviation industry –
the decline in passenger numbers, rising operating costs, the flu
Q: When do you see recovery for the global aviation industry?
Q: How are the code-sharing talks with Thai Airways progressing? How would the agreement benefit THAI, which does not fly to Turkey ?
Turkish Airlines An Update
Turkey’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines, is one of those few airlines in the world that is still making a profit amid the current economic environment.
Turkish Airlines reported operating profit of 73 million euro ($107.6 million), with a net profit 48 million euro in the first half of 2009, according to the financial statements the airlines filed with Istanbul Stock Exchange.
It boasts of 9 percent increase in passenger numbers to more than 11 million during the period. The airline is on course to carry 26.7 million passengers this year, with plans to increase volume to 40 million by 2012.
Recently, Turkish Airlines started its route-expansion plan in Asia. The airline’s non-stop Bangkok-Istanbul route will double to 14 per week this December to capitalise on the high-season demand while it started flying to Jakarta, Indonesia in early September.
Plans are afoot to introduce regular flights to Manila, Philippines and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, initially via Bangkok, in 2011.
Meanwhile, the airlines, 49-percent state-owned, is in talks with Thai Airways International to set up a code-share agreement, enabling the carriers to expand the network coverage they can offer passengers.
It already has code-share agreements with carriers such as All Nippon Airways and United Airlines, which cover destinations in Japan and the United States. Currently, Turkish Airlines flies to 118 international destinations, 17 in Asia, plus 36 cities in Turkey.