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TURKISH AIRLINES: Melbourne to be first Australian destination

TURKISH AIRLINES: Melbourne to be first Australian destination

Sometimes, the best way to find out about an airline’s innovation is through its investor pages. Company disclosure regulations often require announcements to shareholders before companies announce initiatives to the general public. That seems to be the case for Turkish Airlines‘ announcement that Melbourne will be its first Australian destination.

Turkish Airlines posted back on 29 December the following note regarding what will be a 19+ hour route between Istanbul and Melbourne:

29.12.2023 – New Route Announcement

Our Incorporation decided to start operating scheduled flights, based on market conditions, to Melbourne in Australia.

Turkish Airlines Investor Relations website
a screenshot of a computer
Investor Relations Turkish Airlines website announcement of Melbourne route. [Turkish Airlines/2PAXfly]

Previous announcements have indicated that the route will commence in March 2024, although this has not been confirmed. Turkish Airlines have the right to fly into Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and the new Western Sydney airport. They even have the right to fly into the new Western Sydney airport, scheduled to open in 2026. Turkish have been granted rights for 21 weekly flights. That is set to expand to 28 per week from October 2024 and expand even further to 35 in 2025.

a man and woman in uniform standing in an airplane
Cabin Crew, Business Class, Turkish Airlines [Turkish Airlines]

The Route to Melbourne

Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines does not currently have the aircraft to achieve direct Istanbul to Melbourne flights. Initially, flights will be via Singapore using Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Eventually this will be replaced by a direct service from Istanbul using Airbus A350-1000s Turkish Airlines currently has on order. These aircraft will be similar in range to the extra fuel tank-equipped version ordered by Qantas for Project Sunrise.

a woman sleeping on an airplane
Turkish Airlines Business Class – flat beds. [Turkish Airlines]

2PAXfly Takeout

It looks like Turkish Airlines has chosen Melbourne as the launch city for its flights to Istanbul via Singapore. The announcement to investors does not preclude other Australian cities but indicates that Melbourne will probably be the first.

Turkish also has the fifth freedom rights to fly between Singapore and Australia. That’s a new carrier on the route between Melbourne and Singapore. Current expectations are that the route will commence in March 2024.

Australian domestic and regional carrier Regional Express (REX) are said to be in partnership discussions with Turkish Airlines, which will add some spice to domestic competition.

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