Turkish Airlines (THY) are set to increase the number of direct flights from the top holiday resort Antalya to 41, also planning for these flights to operate during the winter season. The Governor of Antalya, Munir Karaloglu made the announcement at an AKTOB, (Mediterranean Touristic Operators Association) meeting that was held in February. The meeting was attended by Assistant General Manager of marketing and sales at Turkish Airlines, Ahmet Olmustur, as well as the Chairman of AKTOB, Erkan Yagci.
When Olmustur made his address, he discussed how Antalya is a leading force with regards to service and infrastructure quality and confirmed that they have already added a number of new destinations to their existing flight plans. Turkish Airlines will be scheduling 41 flights a week to 13 different countries, confirming that they are in direct talks with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Azerbaijan, hoping that they would be able to add these countries to their flight offerings soon.
What are the plans for Antalya?
Whilst there are other airports in Turkey, Antalya has long proved itself to be one of the most preferred destinations for foreign visitors. Generally, Antalya has always attracted tourists from Western Europe and Russia due to the structure that it offers; however plans are in place to draw in high-income visitors from the Middle East and the Gulf.
How does Turkish Airlines fit in with the plans for Antalya?
Turkish Airlines confirmed that as of June 3, they would schedule three flights a week to the capital of Jordan, Amman. Research that THY conducted in 120 countries, determined that the time is right to add two new flights on the Berlin-Antalya route as well as five flights a week to Kuwait. Olmustur was quick to add that some of the largest numbers of tourists come from the United Kingdom, and this is why THY will increase the number of flights per week from two to five.
Turkish Airlines flights from Antalya used to fly only during summer with the exception of Russia where flights are available all year round. Their aim, with the support of tourism professionals, is to offer flights year round to a number of destinations including Moscow in Russia, Berlin in Germany, Luxembourg and Jeddah. They also intend to offer more chartered flights with a potential increase of 16% expected.
Turkish Airlines was founded in 1993 and currently holds the record for the airline that flies to the most countries in the world. Last year the airline carried 75.2 million which was up by 10% on the year before. Their aim this year is to reach 80 million passengers carried to their various destinations.
New Vision for Antalya
Governor Karaloglu stressed how important it is for the tourism sector to continue with their vision for Antalya, saying how Turkish Airlines has started the year off really well but confirming that it is down to the tourism professionals to make this permanent.
The Chairman of the AKTOB stated how important this vision was particularly as the main aim is to raise income made from tourism, and numbers are sure to increase with the new schedule of direct flights.
The all-important tourism statistics
The number of foreign arrivals last year saw a double digit increase, totalling 39.5 million visitors, which was a 21.84% increase year on year according to data provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. However, according to TurkStat (Turkish Statistical Institute) data showed that income from tourists was up by 12.3% or a massive 29.5 billion USD.
Antalya ranked as the second most visited destination in Turkey after Istanbul in 2018, welcoming 13.4 million and 12.4 million respectively. The total number of people travelling to Turkey last year was 46.1 million, with 6.6 million of these being Turkish citizens that lived abroad. Even so, this was a massive 18.1% above the reported figure for the previous year.
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