Turkish Airlines: new airport, new records

Interview: Veysel Serdar, Vice President Sales Central Europe Turkish Airlines

There are lots of changes on the horizon for Turkish Airlines’ passengers with the opening of Istanbul’s new airport. We asked Veysel Serdar, VP sales Central Europe for Turkish Airlines to tell us more about this and how 2018 went for the company.

The three most important topics in 2018 were the opening of Istanbul’s new airport, our new record of 75 million passengers and the launching of nine new destinations, strengthening our position as the airline with the most international destinations in the world with 310 cities in 122 countries. Our goal for 2019 and beyond is to continue this growth while offering the best service to our customers. Istanbul New Airport therefore brings a new dimension to our business. In conjunction with our own dynamic development, this new airport will usher a new era that we want to share with all visitors to ITB Berlin.


ITB visitors will be able to look at our high-quality service and also get the chance to see the newly launched uniforms for Turkish Airlines’ cabin staff, created by Italian Designer Ettore Bilotta and inspired by Turkish culture. These are just some of the exciting things we want to show.

How are load factors progressing?

During the period January through December 2018, the increase in demand and total number of passengers topped 10% compared to the same period of last year. We recorded a total of 75.2 million air travellers, while the general load factor improved by three points to 82%.

How is Istanbul’s new airport revolutionising Turkish Airlines?

The newly-opened hub will play an important role in the future of Turkey’s aviation due to the eastward shift in aviation demand. Istanbul is then ideally located as a gateway between East and West. The airport megaproject is being developed in four phases with the nal one to be completed in 2028 to serve 200 million passengers. The smart and innovative design of the airport will allow a seamless travel experience for travellers flying with Turkish Airlines. The new airport will provide Turkish Airlines with more available slots and help the expansion of network with opportunities for new routes. Passengers will also bene t from a redefined travel experience with exclusive new lounges and a terminal offering the latest technologies and innovations. How is travel trade reacting to the launch of flights from Antalya to London, Stuttgart and St Petersburg? The reactions have been absolutely positive and we are thrilled to start flying to these three cities from Antalya. I can also tell that we will in the near future also  from Berlin to Antalya. We will also resume flights from Munich and Stockholm, proving that our dynamic development does not only concentrate in Istanbul.

What other new routes are you adding in 2019?

We ll excited to launch this year a triangle route linking Istanbul to Mexico City and Cancún. In Egypt, we will soon launch our fth destination with Luxor while we are also launching new routes to Marrakech and Rovaniemi. We also introduce our newest Boeing 787-9 to Atlanta, Bali, Bogota/ Panama and Washington. Finally, we are boosting our presence in Thailand with a third daily ight from August to Bangkok and additional frequencies to Phuket.

How important is ITB Berlin for you as a place to meet buyers?

WearegladtobepartofITBasit allows us to meet potential travel guests in an informal atmosphere We love to have personal talks with our present and future customers. No website or social media can do replace this feeling!

Photo: Veysel Serdar Vice President Sales Central Europe, Turkish Airlines

Hall 3.2 / Stand 201