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TURKISH AIRLINES: Touches down in Melbourne for first time tonight (Saturday 2 March 2024)

TURKISH AIRLINES: Touches down in Melbourne for first time tonight (Saturday 2 March 2024)

Turkish Airlines light TK168, which departed Istanbul on Friday, is scheduled to land at Tullamarine Airport tonight at 8:40 pm. You can read about the route in more detail in a previous post.

This will be the airline’s first flight to Australia. Unfortunately, this will be conducted using a less than contemporary, noisy, Boeing 777 with a dated 2-3-2 business class configuration. From Wednesday 6 March this will be replaced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a more modern 1-2-1 layout.

But that Dreamliner won’t be around for long, since it in turn will be replaced by an Airbus A350 with same business class seats as the Boeing 787

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey 2008 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey 2008 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Frequency and aircraft

Turkish Airlines will run the flights between Istanbul and Melbourne (via Singapore) three times per week from 6 March. Eventually this will turn into a non-stop route once the newly orderd A350-1000 ultra long-range arrive from Airbus. In the meantime the schedule will run like this:

  • TK168 departs Istanbul 5.30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arrives Singapore 8.50 am plus one day. Departs Singapore 10.20 am arrives 8.40 pm Melbourne.
  • TK169 departs Melbourne at 10.30 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Arrives Singapore 3 am. Departs 4.30 am arrives Istanbul 11.15 am plus one day.
The library at Ephesus, Turkey [Schuetz/2PAXfly]
The library at Ephesus, Turkey [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

This is an exciting innovation for Australian aviation since it provides an alternate route to Europe and beyound. Turkish Airlines is renowned for servicing more destinations than any other airline. It opens up all sorts of possibililites, especially when the route becomes a 19 to 21 hour direct route to Australia. Istanbul could provide a competitive hub with more options than available via Emirates and Dubai.

It’s not just the route options that are exciting. Providing a direct route to Türkiye, is a boon for anyone interested in visiting the fascinating country. With a Roman ruin in every backyard, as one tour guide described it to me, there are endless possibilities: fascinating Ephesus or other-worldly Cappadoccia are just examples.

Especially in the countryside, you will receive the kind of hospitality that touches your heart.

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