Turkish Airlines plots Indian expansion

TURKISH Airlines is planning to increase its capacity to India on the back of a strong performance in 2012.

The carrier currently flies daily to Istanbul from New Delhi and Mumbai, and wants to increase the capacity on these sectors due to increasing demand. It also intends to launch services from Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Amritsar and Ahmedabad.

Turkish Airlines has ordered 30 wide-bodied aircraft, to be delivered by 2016, which will double the carrier’s capacity. It has also signed long-term agreements with several travel consultants in India for sales distribution.

Mehmet Akay, general manager-southern & western India, Turkish Airlines, said: “Last year was very successful for us as we achieved all our targets. Depending upon bilateral agreements, we would like to add new routes and establish new gateways in India to consolidate our presence firmly.”

“In 2012, our load factor from India was 85 per cent, eight per cent more than our global average of 77 per cent.”

Having recently launched Boston, San Francisco and Houston routes, the airline will also see large loads from India to onward destinations in Europe and North America.

Rajesh Sethi, managing director, Carnation Travel Services New Delhi, said: “Turkey as a destination is constantly growing and the multiple attractions of the country is driving higher growth from India. The Turkish national carrier has established itself well in the market and deserves to begin more flights from India.”

In the meantime, the Turkish government is issuing visas on arrival to Indian nationals holding valid UK, US and Schengen visas.

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