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While the rest of the aviation world has been focusing on the big 3 Middle Eastern Airlines and the inroads they’ve been making into the global markets, Turkish Airlines has quietly been going about its business largely unnoticed. The airline is still relatively small compared to some of the behemoths out there (like American Airlines) but it serves more counties than any other airline – 113 at the last count I saw.
While Emirates has Dubai, Etihad has Abu Dhabi and Qatar Airways has Doha, Turkish Airlines has Istanbul – a major world city (granted, facing a few issues right now) positioned perfectly to connect Europe with all destinations south and east….and the airline has been making the most of this.
We’ve seen new services opened up to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Taipei, and Kathmandu (amongst others) and now it looks as if Turkish Airlines is ready to look even further afield – Australia.
Turkish Airlines To Australia
Turkish Airlines has made noises about starting up a service to Australia before and nothing has come of it….but this time things may actually happen.
Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil recently told the Centre of Aviation (CAPA) that the airline is considering the possibility of Istanbul – Sydney and Istanbul – Melbourne routes with a stopover in Bali along the way.
Turkish Airlines is thinking big with this latest plan as it’s not limiting it’s scope to just the Istanbul – Australia market. The airline is considering opening up a mini-hub in Bali from which it could use 5th freedom rights to operate multiple flights between Bali and Australia filling the void that’s been left by the withdrawal of Air Asia X.
Will This Happen?
As things stand this all just a suggestion right now and, from what I’ve been reading, the Bali – Australia market isn’t the easiest to make profitable (hence the departure of Air Asia X) so Turkish Airlines will have its work cut out if it is to make these ideas work.
Still, it an interesting idea and one that I can see being of benefit to European flyers.
Australia is an incredibly expensive destination to get to from Europe (especially if you prefer the pointy end of the plane) but more capacity (competition) may help out on that front…it certainly can’t hurt! Turkish Airlines isn’t scared of deeply discounting its fares when it’s in the mood and, while great Turkish Airlines fares don’t appear as often as great Qatar Airways fares, they still appear reasonably often.
A lot of people will be reading this and thinking”I’ll believe it when I see it” because we’ve heard rumors of a Turkish Airlines route to Australia before…and nothing has come of it. But, while I’m maintaining some healthy scepticism about this news, I’m also really hoping that something comes of it this time. Turkish Airlines has a very good reputation for its onboard cabins and service and I’d love to see them stoking the fire of competition to Australia. Perhaps then we’ll finally see some really great fares down under.
Featured image: BriYYZ via FLickr