Turkey experienced a difficult tourism year in 2016 but it does not affect the long-term prospects of national carrier Turkish Airlines which continues to add more destinations in 2017.
Turkish Airlines is now Europe’s largest carrier with 63.5 million passengers, a fleet of 333 aircraft and a network of 296 destinations in 120 countries. Although 2016 marked a slowdown for the airline which suffered due to political turbulence and security fears, longterm prospects remain promising. The carrier continues to benefit from the strength of its Istanbul hub, a global gateway between the Americas and Europe to the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. According to international airline data, Istanbul offers the most international destinations out of Europe and also has the largest number of connections with over 20,000 flights calculated in O&D pairs. Last year, the carrier continued to expand by adding 12 cities to its network including Latin American cities Bogota, Caracas, Havana and Panama while in Europe the airline offers unique connections to Kosice in Slovakia and Cluj in Romania via Istanbul. This year the carrier will add six additional destinations including Kharkov in Ukraine, Conakry in Guinea and Phuket in Thailand. In the future, Bali, Krakow or Mexico City are targeted as Turkish Airlines destinations. The opening of a brand new airport in Istanbul should further increase the airline’s global reach in 2018