SunExpress Reports Record Revenue and Passenger Numbers, Plans for Expanded Flight Network and Fleet Growth

SunExpress, the joint venture of Türkiye’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) and German Lufthansa generated 1.8 billion euros ($1.96 billion) in revenue in 2023, up 21% from the year before while it also broke a record in the number of passengers carried, the company said on Wednesday.

The airline also maintained its load factor at a high level of 85%, SunExpress said in a statement, while highlighting it would reach the largest network in its history this summer by adding 28 new routes.

Max Kownatzki, CEO of SunExpress said: “Türkiye remains at the top of travelers’ minds. The high demand we saw in 2023 is also reflected in the booking figures for the current year. Türkiye scores with its excellent value for money and the diverse experiences it offers to travelers. Therefore,we have further expanded our direct connections to Türkiye.”

“The tourism market is geared for growth and as Türkiye’s tourism ambassador, we intend to do our share in this.”

Along with a plan for adding more routes to its flight network this summer, SunExpress is set to increase its seat capacity by 19%. The carrier will be offering more than 200 routes across 35 countries.

The leisure airline is also set to offer 18 new routes to the Turkish Riviera operating flights from Antalya, Izmir, Dalaman and Bodrum-Milas airports to 67 destinations, it said.

In addition, 10 new international routes are to be added to its Anatolia-Europe flight network, offering direct services from 15 Anatolian cities to 18 cities in Europe and three cities in the Middle East.

“We continue to bring individuals with Turkish roots and family ties living in Europe to their homes and reunite them with their loved ones. We will continue to support the local tourism of Anatolian cities as well” Kownatzki noted.

Expectation for 15 million passengers

SunExpress broke its own record with 12.6 million passengers in 2023. The carrier expects to welcome more than 15 million passengers by the end of this year.

Stating that they are committed to making Türkiye a year-round destination, Kownatzki said: “We are eager to help Türkiye reach its target of 60 million tourists this year. We are working together with the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) to promote Türkiye abroad and highlight Türkiye as a destination that combines adventure, sports, relaxation, history and cultural sights, appealing to a wide audience of travel enthusiasts.”

According to the carrier, every other visitor traveling from Germany to Türkiye, or 50% of visitors, flew on SunExpress in 2023.

Türkiye welcomed 6.2 million visitors from Germany last year, making Germany the second largest source market for Turkish tourism.

In line with its growth strategy, SunExpress also plans to recruit nearly 1,300 employees by the end of 2025, including cockpit, cabin, line maintenance, ground operations and head office positions.
Doubling fleet in next 10 years

Last year, SunExpress placed the largest aircraft order in the company’s history. The airline currently operates 77 Boeing 737s and plans to increase the number of aircraft in its fleet to 166 by 2035.

The new orders represent SunExpress’ ambition to respond to the increasing demand for Türkiye and support Türkiye’s tourism.

“We have once again proven that we are a key partner for Turkish tourism with our flights between Türkiye and Europe. Our planned growth is a reflection of our commitment to Türkiye’s tourism” said Kownatzki.

Source: dailysabah

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