Take Off: Turkish Airlines Begins Istanbul To Dallas

Almost exactly three months after it was revealed, Turkish Airlines’ first flight from Istanbul to Dallas Fort Worth is in the air. At the time of writing, it is over Italy, with nine hours and 20 minutes remaining. Turkish Airlines now serves 11 US airports non-stop, with US flights up by a significant one-third over 2019.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner TC-LLM (3)
Turkish Airlines has started its four-weekly service to Dallas. Will Denver be next? Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Turkish Airlines to Istanbul

On June 23rd, Turkish Airlines placed a cryptic message on the investor relations part of its website saying that Dallas and Denver will begin. While nothing has yet come of Denver – but it will – Dallas was announced in early August. And on September 24th, so soon after being officially revealed, it took off.

Operating four-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, the 5,453 nautical mile to Texas has the following schedule (all times are local). I

  • TK191: Istanbul to Dallas, 14:10-18:55
  • TK192: Dallas to Istanbul, 20:25-15:50+1 (the next day)

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It uses the B787-9, of which Turkish Airlines has 15 each with 300 seats: 30 in business (fully lie-flat) and 270 in economy. The honor for the first round-trip goes to TC-LLA, the oldest example delivered in June 2019, ch-aviation.com indicates.

TK191 Istanbul to Dallas
TK191 to Dallas is currently over Italy. The flight has the call sign Turkish 83 Juliet. It is currently trailing TK1, going to JFK, which departed Istanbul two minutes earlier. Image: Flightradar24.com.

Why Dallas?

Dallas to Istanbul isn’t really about point-to-point (P2P) traffic, for instance, demand only between those two cities. This is just as well, as booking data suggests it only had about 10,000 round-trip passengers in 2019. While predictably low, P2P demand will be boosted by a non-stop service – and Istanbul is one of the world’s best cities, at least in the author’s opinion.

Of course, the new Dallas service is primarily about passengers transiting over Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul hub, with the Star Alliance carrier flying to more countries than any other airline.

The Texas airport is one of the most significant remaining opportunities for Turkish Airlines in the US, with a potential target market of about 600,000 passengers – including over 155,000 to/from the Middle East alone. However, the opportunity is shared by multiple long-haul carriers, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, and Air Canada over Toronto.

Turkish Airlines' flights to and from the US
As you’d expect, Dallas’ schedule fits in nicely with Turkish Airlines’ main North America departure and arrival banks. They’re so highly coordinated to drive connectivity. Image: OAG

11 US airports are now served

The start of Dallas joins Newark, which relaunched in May after an absence of 27 years. Turkish Airlines now serves 11 US airports on a non-stop passenger basis. And following the launch of Vancouver in May, it also serves three airports in Canada.

With 99 outbound departures to the US this week – 32% more than in the same week in 2019 – JFK naturally has the most flights, with a near three-daily service. The US is now the airline’s fourth-largest international country market from Istanbul, OAG shows, after Germany, Russia, and Ukraine.

  • JFK: 19 weekly outbound flights from Istanbul
  • Chicago: 12
  • Los Angeles: 11
  • Miami: 10
  • San Francisco: 10
  • Boston: 7
  • Newark: 7
  • Washington: 7
  • Houston: 7
  • Atlanta: 5
  • Dallas: 4

Have you flown Turkish Airlines between the US and Istanbul? Let us know your experiences in the comments.