Turkish Airlines has said that it will be adding two more US routes – Denver and Dallas. That’s the message coming from the carrier on June 23rd. If they happen, the full-service airline will serve 12 US airports. We explore Denver and Dallas to Istanbul and beyond.
The message was somewhat cryptically placed on Turkish Airlines’ website, which says:
At the time of writing this article, nothing else – start dates, frequencies, schedules, equipment – is known. However, if the routes materialize, they would join Newark, which relaunched in May after an absence of 27 years. And, across the border in Canada, Vancouver, which was also inaugurated last month.
Very little point-to-point demand
Of course, neither Dallas nor Denver would be particularly about Istanbul traffic. In 2019, Denver had only about 8,000 round-trip point-to-point (P2P) passengers to Turkey’s largest city, booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyzer suggests.
This is very little for what would comfortably be Colorado’s longest route (6,129 miles), beating Tokyo Narita (5,773 miles) which would be pushed to second. It isn’t much better for Dallas, with around 10,000 Istanbul passengers. Of course, this almost fully misses the point.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
So, why Denver and Dallas?
While P2P demand is low, it would be boosted by non-stop service like South Florida to Dubai was for Emirates’ Fort Lauderdale operation. Yet, Turkish Airlines would be significantly about passengers transiting over its Istanbul hub, with the Star Alliance carrier flying to more countries than any other airline.
Indeed, in 2019, Denver – a Star Alliance hub – had approximately 240,000 passengers travel to Turkish Airlines’ core geographic markets from the US: the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, parts of Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia. Turkish would also be able to feed passengers onto United Airlines as it does at other Star hubs in the US.
Interestingly, India, so often the target of Qatar Airways and Emirates, is less dominant from the Colorado airport than it is from others in the country, including Dallas. That said, the potential total market from Dallas is more than twice the size of Denver, at around 600,000. However, it is shared by more long-haul carriers, including both Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Turkish serves 10 US airports
This year, Turkish Airlines serves 10 US airports, as detailed below in order of seats. Between them, they have a round-trip seat capacity of 2.34 million, data from OAG indicates, down only marginally on the figure in 2019. While half of them – Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Houston, and Newark – are Star hubs, the others aren’t.
- New York JFK
- Chicago O’Hare
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Washington Dulles
- Houston Intercontinental
Looking at these, it seems pretty inevitable that Dallas and Denver would be next, which raises the question: where may come afterward? Could it be Seattle, Orlando, or Detroit? All have bigger potential markets over Istanbul than Denver, although this says nothing of the money side.
What do you make of Turkish Airlines to Dallas and Denver? Let us know in the comments.