General Manager Erkan Erdogan's Remarks:
Good Evening!! My name is Erkan Erdogan and on behalf of Turkish Airlines I warmly welcome you all to this event where you will get an opportunity to know more about Turkish Airlines as a product and how best you can use it to serve your or your customers’ needs. In turn it will also give us Turkish Airlines, the opportunity to get to know you as our industry partners and also learn from you how best we can improve our product to make it the preferred choice not only to AFRICA, but also to most of the places in the world where you, your associates and/or customers wish to fly.
However, first of all I would like to thank the Africa Travel Association and especially Ms. Naledi & Moraiya, for working with us in putting this event together. Sincere thanks to you and your wonderful team for providing this platform and bringing our trade partners and Turkish Airlines together this evening.
Established in 1933, and owning 5 aircraft back then, Turkish Airlines today flies to more countries in the world than any other airline – 122 countries, 332 aircraft and 305 destinations. Our newest destination in Africa launched towards the end of February 2018 is Freetown – Sierra Leone. In 2017, Turkish Airlines carried almost 69 million passengers and by 2023, our aim is to carry 120 million passengers using 500 aircraft. In achieving this goal, Turkish Airlines recently announced an order of 60 aircraft – 30 each from BOEING and AIRBUS INDUSTRIES.
All these numbers are quite impressive by themselves. Having said that, Turkish Airlines believes that quantity is important but quality is even more important. Over the last decade or so Turkish Airlines has won prestigious awards and recognitions in the Aviation Industry.
Our fabled “LOUNGE ISTANBUL” currently holds the title of the Best Business Lounge in the world. Not only do we have our own branded lounge in Istanbul, but we also have our own lounges in Nairobi, Kenya and of course our very own Washington DC at the Dulles International Airport, which too has been awarded by various associations in 2017 under several categories. In the near future we will also have our own branded lounge at Miami International airport.
Our primary international hub is Istanbul which with its geographical location on the world map, makes it the most convenient connection city whether one is traveling to Africa, Asia, Europe or the Middle East. In fact, if you were to use Turkish Airlines, you would connect to 38 countries within 3 hours of your arrival in Istanbul.
With its geographical proximity to AFRICA, Turkish Airlines considers the continent as one of its most important and convenient destinations. Thus, today we are the largest non- African airline operating to and from Africa, with 52 destinations in 34 countries in the continent. Not only do we fly to exotic touristic destinations like Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Seychelles, South Africa etc., we also fly to destinations important for the ethnic traveler like Addis Ababa, Asmara, Freetown, Kigali, Mogadishu, Lagos, Abuja, Khartoum, Yaoundé etc. etc. – the list is endless.
Such is the growing popularity of Turkish Airlines with the international traveler, that in 2018 Turkish Airlines has started off with a record LOAD FACTOR in the company’s aviation history.
The number of passengers transiting Istanbul is so huge that the current airport’s capacity is being used to its full capacity. To meet the increasing demand, a new airport is being built which will open in October this year.
In its 1st Phase, the new airport will have a capacity to handle 90 million passengers annually and when the final phase is complete, it will have the ability to handle 200 million passengers, which would make it one of the largest airports in the world.
That being said, I believe it is important for me to mention that Turkish Airlines besides running a very successful airline, is also firmly committed to social responsibility as well.
The company carries out other Social projects ranging from construction of schools and clinics as well as drilling of water wells in countries affected by drought. Our social program thus benefits as many as 24 African Nations.
During the recent drought & famine situation in Somalia, Turkish Airlines carried plane loads of supplies like food & water, medicine and other essential supplies to Mogadishu.
So that dear friends, is the story of Turkish Airlines in brief. To get you to know more about Turkish Airlines we have prepared a power point presentation which I hope you will find informative. I would now like to hand over the podium to my colleagues in marketing who will walk you through the presentation.