Turkish Airlines debuts sustainable aviation fuel flights

Plane in Turkey

The national flag carrying airline Turkish Airlines (THY) will switch to new fuel that decreases emissions by 87%, the company’s chairperson Ilker Ayci said on Thursday. THY will be debuting flights using this new sustainable fuel with their new motto “Our route is the future”

New sustainable fuel

Announcing the initiation of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Ayci explained that: “Turkish Airlines is proud to very soon start a new project” – the SAF fuel will be used once a week initially on its route between Istanbul and Stockholm.

Quoting data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Ayci said that THY is the fifth largest carrier of international passengers across the world. During January and November of 2020, some 40.5 million passengers were served by the airline.

Constantly emerging variants

According to data from Euro control, in 2021, THY maintained consistent leadership with 932 daily flights averaged.

Following the emergence of the omicron variant, Ayci said: “It does not seem likely that the aviation sector will face a chaotic situation as happened in the spring of 2020.”

Moving forward into 2022

Ayci said: “We maintain our cautious optimism at the end of 2021, which was a more successful year than 2020.” Depending on the potentials and market conditions, THY has began setting plans for scheduling of flights to several new places: Cebu in the Philippines, Sialkot in Pakistan, Hargeisa in Somalia, and the US cities of Detroit, Denver, and Seattle.

At present, THY flies to 333 destinations globally across 128 countries. Up 21 planes from 2020 to 2021, Ayci said that the company had a fleet of 373 aircraft, including 104 wide body planes, 246 narrow body planes, and a total of 23 cargo planes.


During the coronavirus pandemic, with travel restrictions, border shutdowns and a drop in the rate of consumer demand, THY still managed to carry 28 million passengers in 2020 with a load factor of 71%.

AnadoluJet offers low-cost international flights, funded alongside Turkish Cargo by THY, and Ayci said that the company has accelerated its investments in this low-cost option. Ayci said: “AnadoluJet, which launched international flights in 2020, will be one of our focal points in investments in the coming period. We plan to restructure the low-cost carrier market with our feasibility studies.”

Cargo travels

By 2023, Turkish Cargo is due to be among the top three air freight carriers. Even though the aviation sector was the hardest hit by COVID-19, Turkish Cargo continued to operate passenger planes in addition to their cargo planes, while gaining a share of the market.

Since the beginning of the virus, the freighter has been responsible for delivering 94,000 tons of medicines and medical supplies to 135 different countries around the world, as well as more than 327 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 to a total of 57 countries.

Last year, the cargo freighter company became the sixth largest in the world while boosting its own air cargo capacity. As of October, of the same year, Turkish Cargo carried out 1 in 20 flights for air cargo across the global.


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