TURKISH Airlines Chair Ahmet Bolat has said Australia is on the carrier’s radar, saying TK is targeting as many as three flights per week to the country before the end of the year.
Bolat met with the Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau in Turkey last week for a round of meetings to sort out a service to Australia as part of the airline’s expansion, saying growth Down Under has ben on the airline’s radar “for some time”.
As Turkish upgauges its fleet with almost 30 widebody aircraft on order, Bolat openly pondered in a post on his LinkedIn whether Melbourne or Sydney should be the first Australian city the airline flies to.
“If the delivery of our new generation [of] widebody aircraft is done as promised by the manufacturers, we aim to start with three flights per week from Istanbul to Sydney or Melbourne before the end of 2023,” he said.
“Our main goal is to fly directly and every day to both Sydney and Melbourne, with the production of a new-generation of ultra-long-range aircraft.
“We carried 120,837 passengers in 2019 and 118,847 in 2022 with airlines with which we have codeshare agreements from Australia, where we do not yet have direct flights, but we think it’s time to show the Turkish Airlines logo in Australia as well.”
Turkish has widebody orders for 14 Airbus A350-900s and nine Boeing 787-9s to go with the 16 787-9 Dreamliners and 12 A350s it already operates.
The airline flying to Australia was mooted as a possibility almost yearly prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.