Turkish Airlines to debut flights using sustainable aviation fuel

National flag carrier to form new structure for AnadoluJet’s low-cost business model, says company CEO

With the motto “Our route is the future,” national flag carrier Turkish Airlines is set to begin flights using a special fuel which reduces emissions by 87%, the air carrier’s chairman and CEO told Anadolu Agency.

“Turkish Airlines is proud to very soon start a new project,” said Ilker Ayci, announcing the start of the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) once a week on its Istanbul-Stockholm route.

Citing International Air Transport Association (IATA) data, Ayci stressed that Turkish Airlines is the world’s fifth-largest carrier of international passengers.

This January-November, the company served 40.5 million passengers,he underlined, adding that it saw the fastest recovery in the North America region during the same period.

According to Eurocontrol data, Turkish Airlines maintained its leadership in Europe with 932 daily flights on average in 2021.

On the omicron variant, which has upended expectations of recovery from COVID-19 conditions in some places, Ayci said: “It does not seem likely that the aviation sector will face a chaotic situation as happened in the spring of 2020.”

Updates to vaccines to protect against the new variant and other measures, now familiar to the whole world, will minimize the danger posed by the omicron variant, he stressed.

“We maintain our cautious optimism at the end of 2021, which was a more successful year than 2020,” Ayci said.

Depending on the possibilities and market conditions, Turkish Airlines is set to begin scheduled flights to Cebu in the Philippines, the US cities of Denver, Seattle, and Detroit, Sialkot in Pakistan, and Hargeisa in Somalia.

“In 2022, we plan to receive a total of 18 next-generation aircraft, including 10 wide-body and eight narrow-body,” he said.

Turkish Airlines currently flies to 333 destinations globally in 328 cities in 128 countries, Ayci said, adding that the carrier has a fleet of 373 aircraft, including 104 wide-body, 246 narrow-body, and 23 cargo planes in 2021, up by 21 from a year ago.

In 2020, Turkish Airlines carried 28 million passengers with a load factor of 71% even amid coronavirus-related worldwide travel restrictions, border shutdowns, and an overall drop in consumer demand.

  • AnadoluJet offers low-cost international flights

Saying that Turkish Airlines’ brands – such as AnadoluJet and Turkish Cargo will “fly using their own wings,” Ayci said the company has accelerated investments in AnadoluJet.

“AnadoluJet, which launched international flights in 2020, will be one of our focal points in investments in the coming period.”

Ayci said the company is creating a new structure that includes a new business model in a bid to gain strength in a low-cost airline market.

“We plan to restructure the low-cost carrier market with our feasibility studies,” he said.

  • Turkish Cargo set to be among top 3 air freighter by 2023

Even as COVID-19 hit the aviation sector the hardest, Turkish Cargo, a division of Turkish Airlines, continued its operations using more than 30 passenger aircraft in addition to its cargo planes while gaining market ground.

Since the onset of the virus, the freighter has delivered more than 94,000 tons of medicine and medical equipment to 135 countries and more than 327 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 57 countries.

Turkish Cargo became the sixth-biggest air freighter in the world last year while boosting its cargo capacity, Ayci stressed, adding that as of this October the company carried one out of every 20 air cargo services in the world.

Noting that company’s market share in total global cargo revenues rose from 0.6% in 2019 to 5.3% this year, Ayci said:

“Thanks to the growth rate Turkish Cargo has posted in the recent years, the freighter aims to become one of the world’s top three air cargo companies by 2023.”

In the first 11 months of this year, the amount of cargo the freighter carried hit 1.7 million tons, jumping 22.8% from the same period in 2019.


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