Published on June 10th, 2016 | by Jim Lee


Turkish Airlines celebrates 10 years of flying direct services between Dublin Airport and Istanbul amid ongoing growth.

In a statement published on 31st May, the daa welcomed the fact that Turkish Airlines was celebrating ten years at Dublin Airport. On 7th April.2006, Boeing 737-8F2, TC-JGI operated the inaugural service, the THY1977/8, from and to Istanbul. This was the prelude to the airline’s ten year presence in Dublin, and initially Turkish Airlines operated the route at a twice weekly frequency, operating on Tuesdays and Fridays. The service was successful and it was continued into the winter and thereafter it became an established year-round service.

Turkish Airlines 10-years in Dublin

General Manager Turkish Airlines Ireland, Hasan Mutlu, Turkish Airlines CEO Dr. Temel Kotil and Dublin Airport General Manager, Vincent Harrison with in-flight chefs celebrating Turkish Airlines 10 years at Dublin Airport.

Dublin was just one of 24 new flight destinations launched by the airline in 2006. This was a first in the airlines history, with five new destinations added in Middle East, three in Europe and Balkans, three in Africa, two in Far East, and 11 destinations in Northern Europe and “Turkish States”.

In 2009, Turkish Airlines increased its flight operations to a daily service and further growth in passenger numbers, saw the airline expand again last year, as it moved to double daily flights, between the two cities. This is the frequency that is being maintained this summer, with an early morning departure from Istanbul and a late night return. All flights are shown as Boeing 737s, which are most likely to be a mix of 737-800s and 737-900s.

The early morning flight, the TK-1975, departs Istanbul daily at 07:20 and arrives in Dublin at 09:50. The return flight departs Dublin as the TK-1976, at 10:50, arriving back in Istanbul at 17:10. The second flight, the TK-1977, departs Istanbul daily at 13:05 and arrives in Dublin at 15:35. The return flight departs Dublin as the TK-1978, at 16:30, arriving back in Istanbul at 22:55. All times are local and there is a 2 hour time difference between the two airports. The actual the flight time for the 1,831 mile (2,947 km) journey varies between 4 hours 20 minutes and 4 hours 35 minutes.

In a comment, Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison said; “We are very proud of our decade long partnership with Turkish Airlines and we congratulate them on reaching this major milestone.”

“Turkish Airlines has gone from strength to strength since it started operations at Dublin Airport 10 years ago. By the end of this summer the airline will have carried one million passengers between Dublin and Istanbul since it started. The continuing growth in passenger numbers is testament to the popularity of the route for business and leisure passengers,” he added.

Turkish Airlines Chief Executive, Dr. Temel Kotil said: “I am delighted to be in Ireland to celebrate this important milestone in our airline’s history in Ireland. We will continue to invest in Ireland and have a competitive product offering that will serve the Irish market well for both business and leisure travel. We look forward to investing further in pilot training as well as hiring key staff to sustain growth in the Irish market.”

Dublin Airport will continue to work closely with Turkish Airline to progress further opportunities in the future, Mr Harrison added. Passengers travelling with Turkish Airlines, from Dublin to Istanbul, can connect directly into one of the airline’s 289 destinations globally.

Turkish B737 TC-JYC (IMG2152 JL)

Turkish Airlines has seen massive growth over the decade

Turkish Airlines Inc. was founded in Ankara on 20th May 1933 under the name ‘State Airlines Administration’ and began operating under the Ministry of Defence. In 1955, as part of a reorganisation, it was renamed ‘Türk Hava Yollar’ Incorporated Company, more commonly abbreviated to THY. A Privatisation process began in the late 1990s and by 2006 the public share capital within the Turkish Airlines, Inc. decreased below 50%, following a public offering in May of that year and the public corporation identity of Turkish Airlines, Inc. came to an end.

2006 was significant for another reason, in that the Turkish Airlines fleet reached a significant milestone of 100 aircraft and by the end of the year, it had risen to 103, consisting of seven Airbus A340s, five A332s, six A310s, 17 Boeing 737-400s, 41 737-800s, 15 A320s, nine A321s, two A319s and one A310-304 freighter.

Today, Turkish Airlines fleet now stands at 311 aircraft and is growing, according to Ahmet Bolat, Chief Investment and Technology Officer, Turkish Airlines. “The delivery of a further 26 Boeing aircraft (six 777-300ERs and 20 Next-Generation 737- 800s) this year, which form a substantial part of our long-haul and short-haul fleets, are integral to Turkish’s continued growth and we look forward to introducing the new planes on our domestic and international network.” Not surprisingly, the Boeing 737 forms the backbone of the airline’s fleet with the number of units in service climbing towards the 100 mark.

Turkish Airlines and Boeing share a long history that goes back to 1945, with the arrival of the airline’s first DC-3/C-47 airliners. Turkish Airlines entered the jet age in the late 1960s, when the airline began operating DC-9, DC-10 and Boeing 707 aircraft. Over the years, Turkish carriers have also flown the Boeing 727, 757, MD-80 and the most modern 737 and 777 aircraft. Turkish Technic, a prominent subsidiary of the airline, is a world-class maintenance centre for Boeing 737 aircraft, with certifications from regulatory authorities throughout the region and beyond.

Ahmet Olmustur, Turkish Airlines’ chief marketing officer, believes that the number of aircraft which the airline aims to have in service, will reach almost 450 aircraft, by 2020. In addition, the airline expects to have 72.4 million passengers this year, representing an 18% increase on 2015. This compares to just 16.9 million in 2006, when it launched its Dublin service.

It’s not all good news however, as Mr. Olmustur revealed, the airline had seen a 10% drop in demand on some Russian and southern European routes. Tourist arrivals in Turkey itself have also taken a beating, following an upsurge of terrorist bomb attacks this year, including three in Istanbul, one of the country’s largest tourist destinations. In addition, arrivals from Russia have also been hit by worsening tension between the two countries, after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter bomber over Syria, last year. However, the airline is counting on improving demand from Iran, following the recent lifting of Western sanctions against that country, and he confirmed they are adding capacity to Iran as fast as they can. The airline flies to seven destinations in Iran and is looking to increase its capacity by 15% in 2016, compared to last year.

Turkish A330 TC-LNA (IMG9292 JL)

Strong financial performance in 2015

Turkish Airlines reported $1.069 billion (around €944.4 million) net profit 1n 2015, surpassing the billion dollar level for the first time in its history. Profits from main operations stood at €895 million (around €790.7 million) an increase of 32% on the previous year. Turkish Airlines generated sales revenue of €10.522 billion (around €9.3 billion) in 2015. Giving an indication of its operational cash generation ability, Turkish Airlines generated $2.6 billion (around €2.3 billion) of EBITDAR, with a 24.5% margin, increasing 5.7 percentage points in 2015.

With these financial results the company strengthened its place among the most profitable airlines in the world, despite the political and economic instabilities, over its operating environment and significant currency fluctuations.

Also in 2015, Turkish Airlines realised a capacity increase of 13.6% (available seat km) and carried 61.2 million passengers on its 453,000 flights with a load factor of 78%. At the end of 2015 it flew to 49 domestic and 235 international destinations, a total of 284 destinations in 113 countries.

Turkish Airlines was nominated as ‘Best Airline in Europe’ for the fifth time in a row last year and provides close to 47,000 jobs, including that of its subsidiaries. It is considered the biggest exporter in the Turkish economy, generating over $7 billion (around €6.2 billion) of exports, with more than 70% of its ticket sales, being made abroad. Turkish Airlines as the country’s global brand Turkish Airlines continues to grow and support Istanbul as a global aviation hub.

Dublin Airport has shown improvements over the decade but not as good as Turkish Airlines

The Dublin-Istanbul service is one of 180 direct routes available from Dublin Airport. Dublin Airport, which welcomed a record 25 million passengers in 2015, is adding 15 new services this year.

Almost 7.8 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first four months of this year, which is a 15% increase over the same period last year. So far this year the airport has welcomed more than 1 million additional passengers. Dublin Airport handled 25,049,335 passengers in 2015, which was a 14% increase in passengers over 2014. In 2006 the figure was 21,196,382.

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About the Author

Jim has had a life-long interest in military matters and aviation. Initially, he fused both of these interests together with a passion for military aviation, initially as a photographer. He has travelled extensively over the years and has been the guest of many European air forces, plus the air forces of the United States, Russia and others throughout the world. His first introduction to journalism coincided with an interest in the civil aviation industry was when he initially wrote for and later edited, ‘Aviation Ireland’, the club magazine of the Aviation Society of Ireland. Jim was a contributor to Flying in Ireland since its inception over 10 years ago and is now a key contributor to this site. He has also contributed items for a number of other aviation magazines and has produced a number of detailed contributions to Government policy documents, most recently the Irish Government’s White Paper on Defence. He is also deeply involved in the local community and voluntary sector and has worked both in local government and central government.

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