For the first time since COVID struck, Turkey’s flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, has hit over 1,000 flights per day. The airline set the new record at the start of July, marking a solid return to a state approaching some kind of normality. Thanks to the airline’s many and varied approaches to keeping its passengers safe, load factors were reportedly impressive.
Turkish Airlines back to 1,000+ flights per day
Turkish Airlines has always been a standout airline throughout the pandemic. Even over last winter, when most of Europe was battling the second wave, the airline still flew to over 200 destinations. It reached the milestone of almost 800 daily flights back in April, but now things are looking even better.
According to data from Cirium, the airline first passed 1,000 daily operations on July first, when it flew 1,017 flights in a day. Since then, that level of flight activity has been maintained, reaching a peak of 1,083 on July 4th.
Looking ahead, the airline is scheduling in copious capacity for the rest of the month. Throughout July, flight activity will be maintained at between 1,000 and 1,100 flights per day, and by August, that starts ticking up to around 1,200 flights each day.
Key destinations with the most available seat miles include US destinations such as New York JFK, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. However, in terms of operations, it’s the local domestic destinations that are getting the most capacity.
Notably, a statement from the airline said that the load factor on these days of high flight activity has been in excess of 75%. That’s decent in normal times; in a pandemic, it’s remarkable. CEO Ilker Ayci said,
“We took all necessary measures, focused on the future, and now we’re rising with better results at every step.”
Keeping passengers safe
Back in January, Turkish Airlines was awarded ‘Diamond’ status by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) health safety measure. Diamond is the highest achievable status, signifying that Turkish Airlines has gone above and beyond in its health and safety measures to keep passengers safe when flying with the airline. It takes into account 75 touchpoints in 10 categories to assess the airline’s efforts.
The airline is taking all available precautions to keep its passengers safe and well. This includes ensuring all pilots and cabin crew are vaccinated, as well as insisting on masks and physical distancing. Every aircraft is sanitized between turns, including tray tables, armrests, seatbelts and overhead bins. Every flight employs the airline’s state-of-the-art HEPA filters that remove particles as small as 0.3 microns from the cabin air.
Most interestingly, Turkish Airlines is offering the option of contactless check-in. This includes self-check-in and automated bag check options. The Turkish Airlines hub airport – Istanbul – recently completed a trial of biometric passage, which further reduced the need for contact.
Called the ‘Smart Path,’ the proof of concept trial was conducted in partnership with Turkish Airlines for a six-month period, ending in late April this year. Sophisticated biometric technology was used at multiple touchpoints, letting passengers pass through security, gain access to the lounge and board the plane without needing to touch any surfaces. As well as keeping passengers safe, it was proven to reduce the boarding time by around 30%.
For those craving a holiday but concerned about the risks of COVID, the message is clear. Turkish Airlines is one of the safest airlines to fly with right now, and is going above and beyond to deliver excellence on both health measures and customer service.