Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul to Newark service is going ahead in just four days. Relaunching after 27 years, it effectively replaces JFK’s third-daily service, with near-identical timings. The B787-9 and B777-300ER operate at first, before the A330-300 takes over until winter.
The 5,014-mile (8,059 km) route has the following schedule until winter, with all times local:
- TK29: departs Istanbul at 18:40 and arrives at 22:35
- TK30: departs Newark at 00:05 and arrives back at 16:50
Initially operating four times per week, it will become once-daily from June 14th. Clearly, the timings mean that it is all about point-to-point (P2P) New York demand and connections over Istanbul rather than over Newark, an important Star Alliance hub.
This route joins Vancouver, which Turkish Airlines inaugurated on May 2nd. Like Newark, this was also delayed from last year. Simple Flying had a good look at Vancouver earlier this month.
Returning after 27 years
This Newark service effectively replaces Turkish Airlines’ third-daily New York JFK operation, which ended in October 2019. The timings are almost a mirror image of what it flew to JFK.
Newark was originally announced in 2019 to begin on May 25th, 2020, on a once-daily basis using A330-300s. For obvious reasons, it was postponed until January 1st and then postponed again. But this will not be the first time the airline has served Newark.
From October 1992, it operated both Istanbul-Brussels-Newark and Istanbul-Newark, both twice-weekly. From the following August, it was non-stop only, before ceasing in October 1994. It will now return after 27 years.
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A mix of aircraft
At first, the route will be operated by a combination of B787-9 (three-weekly) and B777-300ER (once-weekly). The 787s have a 300-seat configuration with 270 in economy and 30 in business, while the B777s will have 349 seats: 300 in economy and 49 in business.
However, it’ll revert to being entirely by A330-300s, with 289 seats, from June 3rd. JFK is mainly by the B777, so each Newark flight will have nearly half the number of premium seats. From winter, Newark will become a wholly B787-9 route.
Now 13 destinations in the US and Canada
The addition of Newark means that Turkish Airlines now has 10 destinations in the US and 13 across the US and Canada. Qatar Airways also has 13, while it’s 12 for Emirates and five for Ethiopian Airlines. In order of capacity this year, Turkish’s 13 are:
1. New York JFK
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago O’Hare
4. Washington Dulles
5. San Francisco
When combined with JFK, the greater NYC area will have these timings from Istanbul in mid-June: 07:30 to JFK; 14:30 to JFK; and 18:40 to Newark.
Nearly 900,000 passengers
Across all airlines, Turkey to the US had some 866,000 round-trip, P2P passengers, in 2019, booking data via OAG Traffic Analyzer reveals. Of these, New York was naturally by far the highest, with about 187,000. Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance were hugely dominant.
Additionally, connections over Istanbul were crucial. From just JFK alone, Turkish Airlines had over 370,000 transit over its hub, with Tel Aviv, Ankara, Tirana, Izmir, Tbilisi, Lahore, Pristina, Dhaka, Lagos, and Skopje the top-10 markets. Connections across Turkey was the biggest country market, followed by Israel and Pakistan.
Will you be using Newark-Istanbul? Comment below!