INTERVIEW Tuncay Eminoglu, Vice President Sales Asia and Far East, Turkish Airlines

What is the impact of the new Istanbul airport on TK perception in Asia? Do you feel that the new airport is boosting the interest for the airline from the consumer ?

Since fully open Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019, I would say that it is inevitably going to influence the aviation industry in Turkey. The New Airport will further boost both Turkey’s role and Turkish Airlines in the international aviation industry. We as the
major airline will keep invest new technologies and enhance service quality. Istanbul Airport will bring enormous opportunities to us in terms of our corporate and competitive strategies (for both passenger and cargo). Ideally, it will be a smart airport equipped with highly technological facilities that will make our brand experience unique. It would be one of the most important transfer hubs of the world being served with a wider area connecting the world. Thanks to Istanbul unique geographical location, our airport will be considered as the most important transfer hub in terms of connectivity.

What does the new airport bring in terms of facilities and services for customers compared to the old Ataturk airport?

Istanbul Airport will be regarded as a smart airport where all passengers can take advantages of high quality of technologies being redesigned for facilitating every passengers touch point. It will be totally different from Ataturk Airport. This will offer us a chance to grow beyond the restrictions of Ataturk Airport’s limited sized. Comparing to Atatürk Airport, the new airport is providing more comfort. While Turkish Airlines had a single mega-lounge at Ataturk Airport where was generally well regarded, the new flagship Turkish Airlines-international lounge at the new airport have two separate lounges to spread things out a bit; namely, Turkish Airlines Business lounge for business class passengers and the other for Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles, Elite and Elite Plus as well as all Star Alliance Gold members to be allowed to access to the lounge. Apart from this there are lots of daybeds and suits, library, a special designed tea room, a museum, cinema, meeting rooms.

Istanbul New Airport departure area

Is Turkish Airlines network and flight schedule already feel the change of using Istanbul New Airport in terms of frequency boost or new routes?

In response to this question, we do aim to spread our wings to be ready with our fleet, flight network, technological and operational support system, including human and financial resources in order to make use of this opportunity provided by the moving of
airport.

To stick to our slogan “we fly to more countries than any other airlines”, route and network planning is, with the new hub, strategically determined to be served for the right markets. In this respect, identifying and evaluating current and new routes, deciding
additional frequencies and then making capacity changes are about to be taken into account in reliance to fleet planning, a vitally important aspect of our air transport operation. This typically involves operating new and existing aircraft types to be operated
and in what numbers to meet the needs of the market. Thus, we plan a fleet expansion of as many as 500 commercial and cargo aircraft.

How does Southeast Asia perform this year so far? What are the fastest growing segments? Are they more routes being planned in the near future?

As being known, market conditions in Southeast Asia are challenging to airline industry. We keep to connect Asia with world by Turkish Airlines’ unique service quality and hospitality. As one of the fastest growing airline, we pleased to operate flights to such competitive region. Mystical atmosphere of the east will always attract travellers. Also tropical destinations of east attract people to discover. With this respect, one of the most popular destination of Southeast Asia; Bali flights were actually launched on 17 of July directly.

A third frequency is being added out of Bangkok? What are the benefits for passengers in Thailand? Do you see new connecting opportunities with that flight and in that case to where?

As there is a steady increase in demand for flights from Bangkok, we have decided our additional frequencies (the 3rd flight from/to Bangkok-Istanbul) starting from 9 August 2019. By taking advantage of our additional frequencies, it will enable efficient connections for our outbound passengers to have more flexible schedule when planning their trips to Istanbul and further beyond any destinations where we fly. It will also encourage the creation and sales of international travel packages as well. Our passengers will get
benefits of trips with more convenient connections from Bangkok via Istanbul to domestic cities of Turkey and other international ones worldwide.