Turkish Airlines is planning to raise the number of flights from Dhaka, drawn by Bangladesh's growing number of upwardly mobile population, said a top official of the airline.
“In the future, I believe that we are going to increase frequencies in Dhaka. We are very happy to be in Bangladesh and with its passenger number,” Tuncay Eminoglu, vice-president of sales for Asia and Far East regions of Turkish Airlines, told The Daily Star recently.
The airline would also like to recruit Bangladeshis in different capacities for its offices around the world.
“We are very open to recruitment. Bangladeshis are most welcome to apply for posts of pilots and crew.”
Eminoglu touched upon various issues such as the airline's operation, its network, passenger growth, development of aviation and tourism, and challenges.
Turkish Airlines is focused on introducing new routes in Asia and the Far East.
Giving a brief history of the carrier, he said when Turkish Airlines started its journey back in 1933 it had only five aircraft flying to four destinations in one country.
Eighty-five years down the line, the airline has now more international destinations than any other in the world, covering 305 destinations of 302 cities in 121 countries.
“In 2023, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, our target is to reach 120 million passengers, earn $30 billion in revenue and add more than 500 fleets.”
In the past 10 years or so, Turkish Airlines has increased its service quality, he said.
Some 10 million passengers were carried in 2003, and this figure rose to 48 million in 2013.
In 2017, the total number of passengers carried by the airline reached 68.6 million, up 9.3 percent year-on-year.
Turkish Airlines currently has 326 aircraft -- 218 narrow-body, 90 wide-body and 18 cargo planes -- with 231 more to be added to the fleet next year.
The group has now more than 50,000 employees working worldwide and 11 subsidiaries, according to the vice-president.
“Compared to the period between 2003 and 2017, the aircraft number increased more than three times, passenger number nearly five times and revenue 23 times from Turkish Lira 3.1 billion to 70.2 billion.”
In the last 10 years, the average growth rate of domestic and international passenger number in Turkey is 13 percent.
Turkish Airlines is also the second biggest cargo carrier in Europe, with 16 freight cargos flying to 73 destinations.
Eminoglu revealed that his airline will fly from Istanbul New Airport, which will be officially opened on October 29, with a more dynamic structure.
Once fully operational, the airport will strengthen Istanbul's position as a transfer hub and transform the European airspace.
“It is going to be the biggest airport in the world with the capacity of 200 million passengers. It will be the largest airport terminal under a single roof.”
The grand new airport will have the biggest cargo city with 5.5 million tonnes of capacity, he added.
The vice-president said the airline won several awards and was chosen the best airline by Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA).