Turkish Airlines to expand operations in India

Turkish Airlines plans to expand operations in India in 2012 by doubling weekly flights to 28 and adding Hyderabad as its third Indian destination. Turkey’s flag carrier, which currently operates one flight daily to Delhi and Mumbai, also aims to extend its code share with Air India, to get more passengers from Indian towns to fly to or through Turkey to other destinations. “We are looking at Chennai and Kolkata after Hyderabad. India is a very important market for us and we need to fly to at least five cities there,” Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil was quoted saying in Economic Times.Turkish Airlines’ 170 aircraft cover 74 European cities through 144 routes, making it the 17th largest carrier in terms of fleet. It uses its Airbus 330-200 and Airbus 330-300 aircraft for its India operations, registering average load factors of 70-75%. The CEO said the airline aims to make Istanbul, Turkey’s capital, the preferred transit point between Asia and Europe, as it takes only three to four hours to fly to any European city from there. “We are working on diverting 66% of the transfer passengers from Asia to Europe towards Istanbul. This is the size of Qatar Airlines or Etihad,” Kotil had said, adding that free city tours would be offered to passengers having a long stopover in the city. The airline also plans to double destinations in South East Asia over the next five years. “We would like to fly to Nepal, Cambodia, Burma, Hanoi, Sydney, Manila and Mongolia in the next two years, as air traffic in these regions is rapidly rising.”

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