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TURKISH AIRLINES: Bound for Australia – direct

TURKISH AIRLINES: Bound for Australia – direct

Turkish Airlines has confirmed to a journalist at ET that it is renewing plans to fly directly to Australia.

Way back in September 2018, pre-pandemic (the way we seem to define everything these days, even though the pandemic is not over), the then Chairman of Turkish Airlines, Ilker Ayci, announced that it wanted to service Australian East Coast capitals, Sydney and Melbourne by June 2019 with its then soon to be delivered brand spanking new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. A direct route from Istanbul to Sydney or Melbourne was proposed.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. But direct flights are on the agenda again.

Ephesus, Turkey
Ephesus, Turkey [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Istanbul to East Coast Australia

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ahmet Bolat has indicated that flying to Australia is back on the cards – by the end of 2023. It won’t be direct flights but will be via an Asian port like Singapore, Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur. They are considered the most likely possibilities. I’d go for KL or Jakarta, given the Islamic connection.

The remarks were made to a delegation, including the Victorian Governor, visiting Turkey for ANZAC Day celebrations. Looks like Melbourne is in the lead to get the service, given that it has a 24-hour airport versus Sydney’s operational curfews.

Balloon flight over Cappadocia [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Start with three flights a week

Bolat is quoted as saying that the flights would start as a three-day-a-week service using new wide-body aircraft if delivered on time by the end of 2023. We’re talking Airbus A350s or Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Non-stop flights won’t start until ultra-long-range aircraft are available. That means A350-1000s or 777Xs, which are at least 2 years away from their first delivery by Boeing.

From the balloon flight: Museum Hotel Cappadocia, Turkey [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

Turkish Airlines is well regarded for its service standards across cabins, particularly in Business Class. It has a vast and new airport outside Istanbul and a long-term association with Australia, especially its Turkish immigrant community.

Turkey itself is a fascinating country. I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice. The first time just to Istanbul, and the second time exploring the Mediterranean coastline and its ancient Roman ruins. Turkish hospitality is famed for its generosity, which was certainly borne out by our experience. Not so much by carpet sellers and their questionable ‘museums’.

I will be pleased by the possibility of flying direct to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance.

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