Turkish Airlines soaring high

Turkey's national airline has announced a passenger increase of 6.5 percent for the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2014.

The number of passengers who travelled with Turkish Airlines in the first quarter of 2015 was 12.8 million, an increase of 800,000 on last year, according to a company statement.

Passenger numbers rose by 5.9 percent on domestic flights, while those taking international flights with the airline rose by 7 percent.

Turkish Airlines

265 destinations

Turkish Airlines added 19 new destinations to their cache. They now fly to 265 airports around the world, including 43 within Turkey.

The airline has also added to its fleet of aircraft, with 27 new planes making a total of 268.

The airline expects to make $12 billion this year, carrying 63 million passengers and extending its fleet to 293 aircraft.

Out of the 63 million passengers expected to fly with Turkish Airlines this year, almost 26 million will be domestic passengers, while 36 million will take international flights. The rest will be charter or hajj flights - the pilgrimage to Mecca.

New flights

At a time when a number of airlines are contracting, Turkish Airlines is offering new flights around the world. San Francisco has been added to the TA arsenal. It's the airline's second destination and California, and the 11th in the Americas - there are already services offered to destinations throughout South America, the US and Canada.

Budapest will also be further connected to Turkey, with the number of daily flights between the Hungarian capital and Istanbul raised to four from July.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said that the number of Hungarians visiting Turkey each year is expected to double to 200,000 annually. And numbers of Turkish passengers travelling to Hungary is also expected to double, as Turks start to take more foreign holidays.

Turkish Airlines is the world's fourth largest airline, and has been in operation since 1933.

Pegasus takes off

Budget airline Pegasus is also on the up. The Turkish budget carrier increased by 20 percent in 2014, with a share of 19 percent of airline seats in Turkey. Pegasus has grown rapidly since its inception a decade ago.

Pegasus is in direct competition with Turkish Airlines for domestic flights, as well as routes between Turkey to Europe. The airline recently announced a new route between London Gatwick and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport.


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