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Why Turkish Airlines maintains global lead in network coverage

By Ibe Uwaleke (just back from Istanbul, Turkey)
08 May 2015   |   3:44 am
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, with its headquarters at the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul.

The Vice President, Kerem Sarp

Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, with its headquarters at the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul.

It operates scheduled services to 109 countries and 270 international destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the world by the number of destinations, and the first to cover much more countries of the world than the rest of other international airlines.

Presently, it has 274 aircraft in its fleet, carrying about 56 million passengers annually and with financial capacity that is growing at 15 per cent in billions.

By 2023 its passenger capacity is estimated to grow 120 million, generating about $24 billion, with a fleet of about 450 aircraft. With Istanbul Atatürk Airport being the main base, the Turkish carrier has secondary hubs at Esenboğa International Airport, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, and Adnan Menderes Airport.

The airlines is a member of the Star Alliance network dating back to April 1 2008. Just recently the management of the airline invited some journalists from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for a facility tour at its headquarters in Istanbul.

The visit afforded the journalists to assess facilities the airline has that have proved it as one of the world’s best airlines in terms of steady growth and networking.

At the headquarters, the newsmen were shown wide range of simulators at the training centres for the training of cabin crew and pilots and allowed to experience how an aircraft is operated both in taking off and in landing.

The Vice President, Kerem Sarp, who addressed journalists at headquarters of the airline in Istanbul said Turkish Airlines has never gotten any financial support from Government regarding its fleet plnning. Howvwer, Turkish Airlines has managed to keep its steady growth with the help of Government;s reforms that have improved both Economy and Civil Aviation in the country.

He also confirmed that part of the success of the airline is that Istanbul which is its major hub is in the middle of Europe, Middle East and Asia regions with high volume of traffic and growth rate. For the fourth year running it is the best airline in Europe by Skytrax assessment portfolio.

The strength of the airline lies in its training academy, Sarp also said. Turkish Airlines Flight Academy was established by the 28th Board of the airline on November 10, 2004, and started training with 16 cadets on May 1, 2006.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines

The Flight Academy is based at Istanbul Atatürk Airport and uses the nearby Çorlu Airport for training activities. Again spoke about the maintenance center.

Turkish Airlines runs a maintenance center in its hub at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. The maintenance centre, called Turkish Technic, is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the airlines’s aircraft and third party aircraft, including airframe, landing gear, APU and components.

Turkish Technic has opened a new engine centre in partnership with Pratt & Whitney at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) called TEC (Turkish Engine Center). The facility provides engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to customers worldwide.

The latest project named HABOM (Turkish: Havacılık Bakım Onarım ve Modifikasyon Merkezi) is an Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center and is also located at SAW.

The airline has one of the biggest and well equipped airport lounges in the world in Istanbul that caters for all categories of passengers and guests.

It also has one of the best managed catering services called ‘Do and Co’ which is responsible for the cousin served to passengers on board the airline.

Do and Co also extends this service to 100 other airlines serving about 850 flights on daily basis. Turkish Airlines has four times won the Skytrax awards for Europe’s Best Airline, Southern Europe’s Best Airline, and the World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013.[80][81]

Additionally, Turkish Airlines has been selected the Airline of the Year by Air Transport News at the 2013 Air Transport News Awards Ceremony Turkish Airlines was established on 20 May 1933 as State Airlines Administration (Turkish: Devlet Hava Yolları) as a department of the Ministry of National Defence.

The initial fleet consisted of two five-seat Curtiss Kingbirds, two four-seat Junkers F.13s and one ten-seat Tupolev ANT-9. In 1935, the airline was turned over to the Ministry of Public Works and was subsequently renamed General Directorate of State Transportation.