Turkish Airlines (THY) Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat said that they will be one of the 7 largest airline companies in the world.
Prof. Dr. Bolat, who participated in THY’s first flight to Detroit, USA, made a statement to the press on the plane and at the gala dinner held the next day.
Explaining that they have become the largest airline company in the Asian and European markets with the construction of Istanbul Airport, Bolat said that distant countries such as the USA are an important target for them within the scope of the 2033 strategy.
Explaining that they aim for THY to be among the 7 largest airline companies in the world, Bolat said, “When you look at it, there are three major airlines in the USA: United, American and Delta. There are new structurings in Asia, but it is not clear how much they will go. There are three major Chinese companies, apart from three American companies. They will get bigger. Because they have a great domestic market. What remains? Lufthansa is already behind us. So it is Air France. Emirates Gulf Airlines are not very interested in us. Therefore, the only thing left is Turkish Airlines. What I am saying is not a prophecy. We will be among the seven giant companies.”
Stating that THY started negotiations with Airbus company last week to meet its increasing need for aircraft and that they plan to purchase a total of 355 aircraft, 240 of which are firm and 115 are options, Bolat stated that the first deliveries will begin in 2026.
“Everywhere we go, we advertise Turkiye, not THY”
Stating that they, as a company, focus on promotion to increase the number of tourists coming to Turkiye, Bolat said:
“We are now advertising Turkiye, not THY, wherever we go. There is natural beauty everywhere, but Turkiye is where history and civilization begin. Last year, 1 million Americans came. Our current goal is to double this number, or 2.5 times if we include Canada. That’s why we focus on tourism. We have a project with the Ministry of Tourism. We identified 10 countries: America, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, Taiwan. We say let’s bring 10 million tourists from these countries, but these tourists should not be confined to hotels in Antalya.”
Bolat emphasized that THY’s contribution to the Turkish economy, together with its subsidiary companies, will reach $56 billion, and said that the amount of foreign currency THY brought to the country reached $16 billion.
Pointing out that a net $8 billion of this remains in Turkiye, Bolat said, “Currently, our country has exports of goods worth $250-260 billion. However, imports are still more, but we have a surplus of $8 billion. This is also the case with service exports. That’s why we established an ecosystem with people in service exports. We currently have 430 aircraft. We are trying to increase to 810 aircraft by 2033. Our contribution that year will be $141 billion. Turkish Airlines alone, together with its ecosystem, will produce an economy as large as Morocco. We will add our 500th aircraft to the fleet in 2025. The 600th aircraft will arrive in 2028, the 700th in 2031 and the 800th in 2033. Current orders are to ensure this. The number of aircraft will double, but our contribution to Turkiye will increase more than 2.5 times.”
“Our domestically produced seats are currently in testing.”
Stating that domestic production will begin to be used in the seats and cabins of THY’s planes, Bolat said, “We will use our own business class and economy class seats on the planes. The current seats used on the planes are $80 thousand. In fact, they are more expensive than many cars. We will make them cheaper. The real cost of the seat is engineering and design. Our locally produced seats are currently in testing. Our seats will provide a comfortable flight.”
Stating that Sunexpress, in which THY is a partner, will grow in Antalya, and its sub-brand AJet will serve mainly in Ankara, Bolat explained that Istanbul is planned as THY’s headquarters.
“THY’s number of aircraft will be 950”
Bolat stated that THY and its subsidiaries are planning to reach 950 aircraft in total and said, “We sat down with SunExpress, a joint organization of THY and Lufthansa, and agreed to exceed 150 aircraft in 10 years. The other day, we announced that it would purchase 90 aircraft, 45 of which would be Boeing 737 MAX. The value of 45 737 MAXs is approximately $2 billion.”
Stating that the need for pilots will increase with new aircraft, Bolat said, “We will increase the pilot training capacity from 200 to 500. We have 30 simulators, each costing $15 million. We purchased 5 simulators from HAVELSAN, with which we have a strategic partnership, to increase the number. We have nearly 6500 pilots. We need another 6,500 pilots in the future.”
Bolat stated that Australia is among the new destinations that THY aims to fly to, and said:
“We have the right to 7 weekly flights in Australia. Once we start, we believe that we can fly from both Sydney and Melbourne in a very short time. There are many Macedonians, Turkish Cypriots and Greeks. They are looking forward to it. Healthcare in Australia is also very expensive. Now come to your hometown and get health care in Istanbul. We offer 2 free days in economy class and 3 days in business class to those coming from distant places, if they stay in Istanbul. Istanbul – Singapore – Melbourne or Sydney… We have a few files left to complete. We were opening on December 15th. However, if it comes in a few weeks, we can do it. 500 – 600 thousand tourists will come after a certain time. That’s our goal.”
When THY’s first flight from Istanbul to Detroit coincided with Ahmet Bolat’s birthday, November 15, a celebration was held on the plane.
Source: AA / Prepared by Irem Yildiz