TURKISH Airlines’ goal of becoming one of the biggest carriers between Europe and the Middle East remains on-track as the airline showcased its success at the Arabian Travel Market.
According to Mehmet Akif Konar, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Dubai has, over the last five years, established itself as one of the fastest growing destinations – and one of the most profitable – in the Turkish Airlines’ network.
In 2010, load factors (which describe the number of sold tickets in relation to available seats) averaged 84 per cent and in the first quarter of 2011, the figure reached 85 per cent.
Konar said: 'Around 65 per cent of all outbound traffic currently is for destinations beyond Istanbul, largely due to our capability to offer onward connections to Europe and North America.
'Turkish Airlines also has one of the industry’s youngest fleets and our double-daily service to Dubai is now served by a brand new A330.'
He added that passengers from the UAE travelling onwards through Istanbul, can also book into the carrier’s recently launched Comfort Class – a new premium economy cabin that is configured between business and economy classes – which has proven to be extremely popular on long-haul routes such as Chicago, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and New York.
'Turkish Airlines’ Comfort Class comes at a very competitive price, which is well below the cost of a business class ticket,' Konar explained. 'Providing more legroom, more and better onboard catering and enhanced in-flight entertainment options, it is set to be introduced soon to the Middle East as part of our aggressive expansion plan of putting more new aircraft into the region.'
Another new initiative for the Middle East which was introduced at ATM is the Turkish Corporate Club. Specifically designed for corporate customers, bespoke programmes can be created to meet corporate needs including a wide range of benefits such as upfront discounts, charge waivers (free rebooking, route change and cancellation), free flights, corporate club cards for travelling employees, higher excess baggage levels, free stopover programmes in Istanbul – and all without hidden costs or extra charges.
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