Turkey’s flag carrier plans to expand its network of international destinations and kick start a restructuring of its low-cost carrier brand AnadoluJet, according to Ahmet Bolat, the chairman of the board of directors and the executive committee of Turkish Airlines.
The company is considering launching more flights to the United States and China if necessary permissions are obtained for the latter, Bolat said in an interview.
Japan is also on Turkish Airlines’ radar as it seeks to add Osaka to its routes besides Haneda and Narita airports in Tokyo, he noted, suggesting that starting flights to another destination in northern Japan might also be possible.
In line with its plans to broaden its flight network, the company also aims to increase the number of planes in its fleet, mostly through leasing.
Already, seven Boeing 737MAX8 have been leased, which are expected to be delivered in the next two months.
THY flies to more than 330 destinations in nearly 130 countries. It had 372 aircraft in its fleet as of end-February. Last year, the carrier served 44.8 million passengers, including 24.6 million international and 20.1 million domestic travelers.
Bolat, who took the helm at the carrier earlier this year, also has plans for AnadoluJet.More aircraft, mostly fuel-saving, will join the low-cost carrier to be used both on domestic and international routes.
As part of Bolat’s plans for Anadolu Jet, a Boeing 737MAX8 with 189 seats and an Airbus 321Neo with 240 seats will initially be added to the low-cost carrier’s fleet. More seat capacity and fuel-saving planes will help the company boost its profitability.
“Since 2003, THY has always posted profit except for two years: In 2016 when terror attacks took place and in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were also problems with 737MAX. The executives of Turkish Airlines have weathered all those problems and passed the stress tests,” Bolat said.