These routes are already well served by Easyjet, Monarch, Pegasus and Thomas Cook. BA’s flights confirm Turkey’s status as a world tourism leader.
A vote of confidence
Propertyturkey.com director Cameron Deggin says the move by BA is “a vote of confidence” for the region. “Turkey is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, and visitor numbers are rising by something like 10 percent each year. It’s not surprising that airline giants like British Airways are now wanting to get on board.”
Deggin, who has been buying and selling Turkish property for well over a decade and is a keen observer of the changing country’s tourist economy, says another signifier of Turkey’s success is that flights are now offered to Mediterranean centres year round.
“We’re seeing a big change in the way that flights are operating. Ten years ago, Turkey was a holiday destination, and people were just starting to think about buying property there. Now, we have expat populations who live in places like Fethiye and Bodrum all year round, and the airlines have responded by increasing the number of direct flights between these centres and UK, Europe and the Middle East.”
He predicts that the news that BA is now serving Turkey will prompt a surge of interest in Turkish real estate, and added that “savvy investors” have already spotted the potential offered by the new flights.
“People are smart with their money these days, so as well as wanting a holiday home or future retirement property, they want to make a good investment and earn rental income from their property. The extra flights mean it’s easier for people to get to and from the area, increasing the number of potential renters looking for summer holiday homes.”
Six months on, six months off
Carole and Geoff Crichton divide their time between Gumusluk, where they live for five or six months of the year, and St Ives, in Cornwall. When they first bought their property nine years ago they could fly to and from the UK once a week. Now there are flights almost every day of the week.
“We see the new flights [offered by BA] as a very positive move,” says Carole. “We can pop back to the UK at a moment’s notice, and our relatives can visit us here on last minute weekends away.”
Geoff believes that the BA flights will eventually extend past the summer season. “Since we’ve lived here we’ve noticed that the summer season has almost become a thing of the past, if you go to Bodrum centre it’s busy no matter what month it is. The crowds definitely peak in July and August, but there’s a lot to do in Bodrum year round and the numbers of people we see during traditionally off peak times is an indication of that.”
Retirement in the sun
Retired engineer Rob Briggs says that the new BA flights have prompted him to look into buying a home in Fethiye, where he has holidayed twice. “I’ve been looking for a Mediterranean resort where prices aren’t too high. When I saw there were new flights offered to Fethiye [close to Dalaman Airport] I thought I’d look into buying something there.”
Rob plans to fly to Fethiye in May with a view to purchasing a an apartment in Ovacik, where he would like to retire. “It just makes sense. You can buy a decent apartment for less than £100,000, living costs are low and the sun shines all year round.” Rob is also attracted by Fethiye’s expat population. “I actually discovered an old friend of mine lives there already. He said his social life has never been better with all the clubs and events that are organised.”
The increasing number flights serving Dalaman mean that Rob will have the flexibility to fly back to the UK at a moment’s notice. “I’m not ready to sever ties with the UK just yet, it’s still my home, and I would like to be able to visit occasionally. The fact that I won’t have to wait a week for a flight is a game changer.”
BA’s Gatwick to Bodrum flights will run from April 27 to 22 October, flying on Mondays and Thursdays. Gatwick to Dalaman flights will be available until 24 October, operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. BA already offers direct flights to Istanbul and Izmir.
Bodrum Airport is a 40-minute drive from Bodrum centre, while Dalaman Airport is an hour away from Fethiye.
Thirty-six million visitors travelled to Turkey last year, an increase of 10 percent on the previous year.
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