Despite the challenges presented by COVID and the various border restrictions worldwide, Turkish Airlines has worked to maintain a healthy network. In Europe, it is currently the third busiest airline, according to figures from Eurocontrol, and worldwide is flying to an impressive 204 destinations.
Turkish Airlines is the third busiest in Europe
The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, widely known as Eurocontrol, has been keeping tabs on the resumption of flights since the COVID pandemic caused a continent-wide lockdown. Director General of the organization, Eamonn Brennan, regularly shares updates on social media of Eurocontrol’s findings.
Earlier this week, he noted that capacity had begun to drop, as the summer season drew to an end and COVID cases in Europe began to climb again. Week 39 saw traffic drop to 45.6% of 2019s levels, falling 2.7% week-on-week as airlines battened down for the coming winter schedules.
COVID19 Week 39 (up to yesterday) showed a continuing steady decline in flights (44.8% of the same week in 2019)
— Eamonn Brennan (@eurocontrolDG) September 28, 2020
Throughout the recovery period, Turkish Airlines has held a top-five spot in terms of passenger capacity. At the end of June, it was operating more flights than any other airline in Europe. Although the ramp-up of low-cost carriers easyJet and Ryanair has overtaken the Turkish flag carrier, it remains the third busiest in Europe and the busiest full-service airline on the continent.
Maintaining capacity and a wide route network
The average daily number of flights operated by Turkish was an impressive 660, putting it just behind low-cost easyJet with 728. It remained comfortably ahead of French flag carrier Air France with its 562 daily flights, as well as the next closest competitor Lufthansa with 499.
Notably, all of Air France, Lufthansa and easyJet have pulled capacity week-on-week, while Turkish has maintained. The only top-five airline to add any capacity was Ryanair.
Turkish Airlines’ CEO Bilal Ekşi celebrated the news on Twitter, praising the airline for maintaining capacity throughout these tough times.
Kovid salgını tüm dünyada devam ediyor.😷
Kovid salgınından dolayı tüm havayolları maalesef çok düşük kapasitede operasyon yapıyorlar.
— Bilal EKŞİ (@BilalEksiTHY) September 28, 2020
The airline is currently flying to no less than 204 destinations worldwide. Active destinations range from Barcelona and Valencia in Europe to far-flung locations such as Los Angeles in the US and Tokyo in Japan.
Cargo continues to drive growth at Turkish
Throughout the pandemic, Turkish has focused on its cargo operations to help sustain a healthy financial status. Turkish Cargo has successfully increased its market share to 5.4%, having grown 67% in the special cargo sector.
Turkish Cargo has its sights set on growth. With IATA warning yesterday that the cargo market is still lacking capacity due to the number of passenger planes still not operating, this growth should be assured. The airline wants to become one of the top five cargo carriers globally and is already making great strides towards achieving this goal.
Have you flown Turkish Airlines recently? Let us know about your experience in the comments.