Turkish Airlines has announced it will add a fourth route to China before the end of 2019, the 20th anniversary of Turkish Airlines’ first operations in China. The airline will offer customers direct flights from Istanbul to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province.
Last week Turkish Airlines announced that it had successfully negotiated approval for a new direct route from Istanbul to Xi’an. The announcement was made following a meeting between Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı, and Secretary of the Shaanxi Province Party Committee, Hu Heping, on 5 November.
The new route will connect the Turkish city and its colossal new airport with Xi’an, which was once the eastern end of the Silk Road.
Turkish Airlines’ new route
When it comes to choice, Turkish Airlines’ customers are truly spoilt. The airline flies to the most countries of any airline in the world and offers flights to even more cities. The new route to Xi’an will be Turkish Airlines’ fourth to China, alongside Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
According to reports by Airline Geeks, it will also make Turkish Airlines just the second European airline to offer flights to Xi’an.
The only other European airline flying to the city is Finnair, which offers seasonal service from the Finnish capital, Helsinki.
As far as frequency goes, Turkish Airlines will run Istanbul to Xi’an flights three times weekly for now. It will then increase capacity on the route during the 2020 summer period. The finer details of the route, such as start date, times and aircraft type, have not been confirmed yet.
Strengthening the link between Turkey and China
With the addition of Turkish Airlines’ fourth route to China, the capacity for tourism and business connections between the two countries continues to grow.
Discussing the new route, M. İlker Aycı said:
“We expect that the Xi’an flights will contribute to the tourism, trade, culture and economy connections between the two countries. I believe that the transportation bridge built by us will facilitate positive developments beneficial to both communities that have relations deeply rooted in history.”
Once the Istanbul to Xi’an route commences operation, Turkish Airlines will be flying 24 reciprocal flights to China every week. This expansion is especially important for Turkey as it looks to establish its newly-upgraded Istanbul mega-airport as a global airline hub.
Meanwhile, potential new tourism will always be a welcome bonus for China, especially to one of its smaller, less well-known cities, like Xi’an.
Xi’an is one of China’s oldest and most historically significant cities. It was also the Eastern terminus of the fabled Silk Road, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs. At the other end of the Silk Road sat Istanbul, making the new Istanbul to Xi’an route all the more significant.
Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines has not yet been able to respond to Simple Flying’s request for comment on the new Istanbul to Xi’an route, but we will update this article if we receive any new information.