Turkish Airlines Raises Wages And Secures Financing Backed By MAX Jets

Things are starting to improve at Turkish Airlines. As it faces an improving global recovery, the carrier has received new financing from US-based Castlelake, backed by four new 737 MAX aircraft. On top of that, the airline has also publicly announced that it will be increasing wages for its employees.

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Turkish Airlines is coming back strong. Photo: Getty Images

Turkish Airlines increases wages for employees

The last year has been one of the worst ever for employees at major airlines. Without any guarantee of recovery and the ongoing massive scale of the global pandemic, airlines had to furlough workers, cut salaries, or let go of employees around the world. Turkish Airlines also had to take some action.

In 2020, Turkish Airlines had to sharply cut wages for employees. There was a 30% deduction for ground employees, 35% for cabin employees, 50% for cockpit employees, and 30% for seniority payments of all other employees starting from September 1st as part of an agreement reached with its employee union.

As part of the pay cuts, Turkish Airlines agreed to review the wages every six months, with wages coming back after the end of December 2021, at the latest.

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Turkish Airlines was previously forced to cut wages to handle the ongoing crisis. Photo: Getty Images

Now, Turkish Airlines has seen significantly improving fortunes and has decided to restore wages and add more compensation to employees. The airline will be rolling out a minimum wage increase of 10% on top of the restored salaries. Turkish Airlines stated it was due to the following advancement:

“Our Board of Directors made an assessment taking into account the sacrifices made by our employees during the pandemic, the steps towards loosening pandemic restrictions in all countries, and the cautious optimism of the widespread vaccination practices developed against Covid-19.”

New financing from Castlelake

Castlelake, a global alternative investment manager, announced on Friday that it had provided a loan package to Turkish Airlines. For an undisclosed amount, this loan package is secured by four new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Three of the jets are MAX 8s, and the final is a MAX 9.

Ayşegül Denli, Turkish Airlines’ Senior Vice President Finance, stated the following on the financing:

“This transaction with Castlelake allows us to optimally finance some of our newest, most in-demand aircraft and in doing so, execute on our strategic objectives. This is especially vital during this exciting time as international leisure and business travel recovers and we look forward to welcoming many passengers as they return to the skies.”

Turkish 737 MAX
The Castlelake financing is secured by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

The funding seems to have gone toward taking on new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to fund Turkish Airlines’ expansion and fleet renewal plans. The Boeing 737 MAX is an integral part of the airline’s plans.

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Turkish Airlines is coming back

Airlines have been coming back strong. With Turkey’s high vaccination rate and a continued international reopening, the airline is now back at over 1,000 flights per day. It is starting to turn its eyes to operating new flights to Denver and Dallas if market conditions allow for it.

The airline had a global reputation as it flew to more countries than any other carrier and did so with a wide variety of aircraft ranging from narrowbody Boeing 737s and Airbus A321neos to widebody Airbus A350s, Boeing 787s, and 777s.

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Turkish Airlines continues to bring back its network and schedule. Photo: Getty Images

Turkey has also reopened its borders to more foreign citizens. While entry into the country for passengers from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka remain suspended, those passengers can still transit in Turkey.

However, passengers who have been in those countries in the last 14 days and are arriving in Turkey after having been in another country must submit a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival and must quarantine for 14 days in specific locations in Turkey. For passengers coming from Afghanistan and Pakistan, or those who have been in those countries, the required quarantine period is 10 days.

Meanwhile, passengers arriving from the United Kingdom, Iran, Egypt, and Singapore are only required to present a negative PCR test from the last 72 hours before arrival in Turkey.

If you are coming from a country not otherwise stated above, then there are a few ways to enter Turkey. The first is by vaccination. If you can prove, through a document provided by your country’s relevant official authorities, that you have been fully vaccinated and at least 14 days have elapsed since your final dose, you can enter into Turkey quarantine-free.

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One of the ways to be able to enter Turkey is by showing proof of vaccination. Photo: Getty Images

The second option is to enter with a negative PCR test if you cannot prove vaccination or are not vaccinated. That test must be taken in the last 72 hours before arrival in Turkey, or 48 hours if you choose to provide a negative rapid antigen test.

The third option is to show proof of recovery from COVID-19. This documentation has to show recovery in the last six months, starting on the 28th day of the first positive PCR test. These passengers who can prove that positive result do not need to undergo quarantine, as well.

Altogether, with Turkey opening up and Turkish Airlines coming back, this is leading the carrier to grow wages for employees after previously slashing them and moving forward with its fleet development program.

What do you make of this latest news from Turkish Airlines? Let us know in the comments!