Could Turkish Airlines Be Coming To Denver and Dallas Soon?

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.

Turkish Airlines says it’ll begin Denver and Dallas. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia.

The message was somewhat cryptically placed on Turkish Airlines’ website, which says:

If both happen, Turkish Airlines will serve 12 US airports. Image: Turkish Airlines.

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.

Like other US airports, such as Atlanta, there would be relatively little point-to-point demand to Istanbul. In 2019, over eight in 10 Atlanta passengers transited over Istanbul. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

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.

Denver would be the airline’s sixth Star hub in the US. Photo: Getty Images.

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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.

At 6,275 miles, Dallas would be nearly 600 miles shorter than Istanbul-Los Angeles. Image: GCMap.

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.

  1. New York JFK
  2. Chicago O’Hare
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Miami
  5. San Francisco
  6. Washington Dulles
  7. Houston Intercontinental
  8. Boston
  9. Atlanta
  10. Newark

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.

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