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İbrahim Sünnetçi

THY 2033 Strategy & Fleet Expansion with Historic Airbus Order

Issue 22 - 2024
THY 2033 Strategy & Fleet Expansion with Historic Airbus Order

As National Flag Carrier of Türkiye, Turkish Airlines (THY), which reached 83.4 million passengers (increased by 16.1% compared to the same period of 2022) in 2023, when it celebrated its 90th anniversary, aims to reach over 170 million passengers in 2033, when it will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The number of aircraft in THY’s fleet, which took delivery of its 400th aircraft on February 24, 2023 and carried its 1 billionth passenger in April, reached 440 by the end of December 2023, and this number is targeted to reach 813 aircraft in 2033, when it will celebrate the 100th year of its establishment. 

Growing significantly higher than the industry average over the last 20 years while having significant contributions to Türkiye’s economy and labor market, Türkiye’s National Flag Carrier THY, unveiled its ‘10-Year Strategic Plan’ in April, 2023 and shared its 2033 Strategy document with a title of “From Boutique to the Top” at its official website in November 2023.

Determined in line with its vision for 2033, the strategic focus areas of the THY, that aim to generate significant value for its stakeholders, are as follows:

• Achieving consolidated revenue of over 50 Billion USD by 2033,

• Attaining an EBITDAR margin between 20% and 25% during 2023-2033,

• Improving efficiency, maintaining cost discipline and creating new opportunities to generate additional revenues in order to sustain THY’s strong financial performance,

• Contributing 140 Billion USD of added value to Türkiye's economy by 2033,

• Expanding THY fleet to 435 aircraft by 2023 (reached 440 by the end of December 2023) and to over 800 aircraft by 2033; growing the passenger network to 400 destinations from 345 in 2023,

• Doubling the passenger capacity in 2023 by 2033 with an annual average growth rate of 7%,

• Servicing 170 million passengers by 2033 compared to over 85 million in 2023 (achieved 83.4 million passengers by the end of December 2023),

• Reaching 150 thousand employees including the subsidiaries (13x). The number of employees working for the Türk Hava Yolları Anonim Ortaklığı (THY) and its subsidiaries as of December 31, 2023 is 55.884 (December 31, 2022: 40.264). The average number of employees working for the Group for the year ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 were 51.753 and 38.555 respectively,

• Doubling the transported cargo volume and positioning Turkish Cargo among the top three cargo carriers globally by 2033; leveraging the capabilities of its cargo hub, SmartIST, which is one of the largest air cargo terminals in the world, 

• Establishing THY’s low-cost arm AnadoluJet as a separate subsidiary (AnadoluJet will operate under the ‘AJET Air Transportation Inc.’ name as a wholly-owned subsidiary starting from March 2024, the airline’s first flight will be on March 31, 2024); repositioning its brand, restructuring its revenue and cost structures, and reaching a fleet size of 200 new generation aircraft to strengthen its competitive positioning,

• Improving customer experience and brand recognition by:

  – Providing each passenger a customized service across all service channels

  – Completing cabin transformation to enhance in-flight experience

  – Growing further Miles & Smiles loyalty program and increasing the number of active members

   – Ranking among the top 3 airlines globally in providing the best digital experience by implementing new projects in digital transformation

• To become a sustainable airline by:

  – Increasing the number of new generation aircraft in the fleet

  – Increasing the consumption of sustainable aviation fuel 

  – Expanding the number of LEED certified buildings to boost renewable energy usage

  – Becoming a "Carbon Neutral" airline by 2050 through the implementation of carbon emission offsetting projects 

With 65 aircraft, Turkish Airlines served 10 million passengers in 2003; Having increased the number of aircraft more than 6 times and the number of passengers more than 8 times in 20 years during 2003-2023, THY had the pleasure of hosting its 1 billionth passenger in April 2023. Turkish Airlines, Türkiye’s most valuable brand and largest exporter, has increased its total revenue more than 10 times in 20 years and contributed more than 50 Billion USD to the Turkish economy. On the one hand, it played a major role in the development of tourism, and on the other hand, it introduced made-in Türkiye products to the world with the cargo it carried.

Standing out from its competitors, Turkish Airlines (THY) reached pre-pandemic levels ahead of the industry as of June 2022, and surpassed 2019 capacity level by 25% in October 2023. THY continues growing sustainably in 2023 and achieved a double-digit growth rate on the year of the 90th anniversary of its establishment and 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye.

While Turkish Airlines was an airline with ideals of gaining a global airline identity 20 years ago with a fleet of only 65 aircraft, by the end of 2023 it becomes one of the largest fleets in the world with a fleet of 440 aircraft. THY took delivery of its 100th aircraft in 2006, its 200th aircraft in 2012, its 300th aircraft in 2016, and its 400th aircraft on February 24, 2023. It will achieve its next 100 aircraft progress in shorter intervals and will crown its adventure, which started with 5 aircraft, with over 800 aircraft in its 100th year. In 2033, the number of passengers is expected to double compared to 2023 and exceed 170 million. While Turkish Airlines welcomed the 1 billionth passenger in its history on the 90th anniversary of its establishment, it aims to meet its 2 billionth passenger in 2031, just 7 years from now, as an indication of its extensive operations spread around the world.

Türkiye’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines increased its net profit, which was 143 Million USD in 2003, by 18 times to 2.725 Billion USD in 2022, reaching the highest profit in its history. It has achieved financially healthy and profitable growth by increasing its balance sheet asset size by 13 times in a 20-year period. In 2023, in addition to the direct income of over 19 Billion USD in 2023, THY aimed to create a total of 55.6 Billion USD for Türkiye. Within the framework of the 10-Year Strategic Plan, direct income is targeted to reach 52.2 Billion USD and total contribution is targeted to reach 144 Billion USD in 2033. According to 2033 Strategy document the total contribution of the THY between 2023 and 2033 will be 1.1 Trillion USD, leaving behind the economies of many developing countries.

Despite a challenging operating environment, during the period of January – December 2023, the number of passengers carried by THY soared by 16.1% to 83.4 million passengers compared to 71.8 million passengers in the same period of 2022. Additionally, during the same period number of international to international passengers carried increased by 27.1% to 29.8 million from 23.4 million in the same period of 2022. According to the THY’s January-December 2023 Traffic Results, the airline’s total load factor increased by 1.9 points to 82.6% compared to the same period of 2022. International load factor was 82.4% while domestic load factor was 84.3%. THY reported a 1.2 point decrease in air cargo/mail during the period of January – December 2023, to 1.66 million tons from 1.68 million tons in the same period of 2022. Meanwhile, according to reports global air cargo tonnages for the full year of 2023 were 5% lower than in 2022. In terms of fleet size, THY concluded 2023 with 440 aircraft including the cargo aircraft. During December 2023 Turkish Airlines continues its growth in Japan by adding Osaka International Airport in Osaka, the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo, to its flight network on December 12. According to THY Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Ahmet Bolat, in 2022, THY brought 14.8 Billion USD to Türkiye, 5.9% of this remained in Türkiye. Last year’s figure was 16.2 Billion USD, of which 8 Billion USD remained in Türkiye. Bolat also declared that THY announced a net profit of 93.5 Billion TL in the 4th quarter of 2023. THY’s net profit for 2023 was 163 Billion TL. THY’s 2023 Q4 profit increased by 82.2% compared to the previous quarter. As of March 17, 2024 THY 2023 Annual Report has not been publicized, so we could not be able to make comprehensive evaluation on THY’s annual performance in 2023.

Flies to more countries globally than any other airline THY’s fleet size (440 aircraft as of December 31, 2023) and fleet age (9.2 years) ranking is among the top 10 largest carriers in terms of fleet size (global ranking 9th) and fleet average age (global ranking 4th).

Historic Deal for Airbus to Provide up to 355 Aircraft for Turkish Airlines

Aiming to increase its passenger numbers by 7.4% to over 170 million and to grow its fleet to over 800 aircraft in the next decade, Turkish Airlines, will procure some 600 aircraft including 400 narrow-body and 200 wide-body from both Airbus and Boeing, in the next decade to achieve 2033 Strategy and to compensate for retirements on the way. For narrow-body requirement in December 2023, THY ordered 250 A321neo (150 firm + 100 optional) and a total of 105 A350 (60 A350-900 + 20 optional, 15 A350-100, 5 A350F + 5 optional) wide-body aircraft from Airbus. Both aircraft types incorporate advanced technologies, achieving remarkable improvements in fuel burn, operating costs, CO2 emissions, and noise reduction, underscoring Turkish Airlines’ commitment to sustainability and passenger comfort. THY also carry out discussions with the Boeing for the procurement of a high number of B737 MAX narrow-body and B787 Dreamliner wide-body airliners. It is also said that the aforementioned 600 aircraft order will also cover some 25 to 30 B77X aircraft. As of March 18, 2024 the Boeing part of the fleet investment is still under negotiation.

In line with 2033 Strategy to expand its fleet size to 813 aircraft by 2033, Turkish Airlines announced a monumental expansion of its fleet with the acquisition of up to 355 state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft on December 15, 2023. According to THY annoucement within the scope of this historic order the airline had made firm orders for 230 jets and placed purchasing rights for an additional 125 aircraft. In the statement issued by the Turkish Airlines’ Press Office on December 15, it was underlined that the firm order for 60 A350-900 aircraft also included 10 A350-900s that Turkish Airlines had ordered in September 1, 2023 and thus covered only 50 new aircraft. The airline’s confirmed order purchase, which includes 150 Airbus’ best-selling A321neo and 70 of the world’s most modern and efficient A350 widebody aircraft (50 A350-900s, 15 A350-1000s and 5 A350F freighters), has a catalogue price of more than 40 Billion USD. This follows two orders from the THY for 4 A350-900s in July 2023 and 10 A350-900s in September 2023. This latest order will take Turkish Airlines’ total orderbook for Airbus aircraft to 504, of which some 220 are already delivered. 

The engines (Trent XWB) for the A350 Family will be provided by Rolls-Royce. Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Türkiye, said the deal also includes a separate order for Rolls-Royce to provide maintenance services and spare parts for the A350 jets’ engines. The Trent XWB engines, which are assembled and tested in Derby, UK will deliver 25% lower CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft. On December 15, 2023 Rolls-Royce announced that Turkish Airlines would order 100 Trent XWB-84 engines for the A350-900s and 40 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines for the A350-1000s and A350F freighters ordered from Airbus and to be delivered between 2025 and 2033. Turkish Airlines (THY) selected Rolls-Royce ‘s Trent 700 engines to power A330 aircraft for the first time in 2009, and since then the long-term partnership between THY and Rolls-Royce has continued to grow and develop. THY also ordered Airbus A350 aircraft powered with Trent XWB Engines which entered into service starting from 2020. As of December 2023, THY already operates 40 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84 engines on the A350-900s and 26 Trent 700 engines on the A330s. In April 2018 THY selected GEnx-13 Engines for its B787 Dreamliner (25+5) aircraft but for its new B787 Dreamliner aircraft THY is also evaluating other candidates including the Trent 1000 of Rolls-Royce, which has been designed and optimized specifically to power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Family of aircraft.

This strategic acquisition underscores Turkish Airlines’ commitment to enhancing its operational efficiency, environmental stewardship, and passenger comfort. In line with this significant fleet expansion, Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Türkiye, plans to continue to reinforce its status as an airline with one of the world’s most comprehensive flight networks. The addition of these Airbus aircraft will further enhance the airline’s ability to connect Türkiye to the farthest corners of the globe, offering its passengers even more destinations and travel options while maintaining the highest standards of service and connectivity that Turkish Airlines is renowned for.

On the new order, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat stated: “This landmark order is more than an expansion; It's a testament to our dedication to innovation, operational excellence, and a sustainable future. The addition of these advanced Airbus aircraft to our fleet will not only enhance our operational capabilities but also significantly contribute to our environmental goals. This investment is a crucial milestone in the further evolution of Türkiye’s aviation industry. By modernizing our fleet with more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft, we are reinforcing our leading position in global aviation and contributing to the nation's prominence as an aviation hub.

Furthermore, this expansion will also have a considerable positive impact on Türkiye’s tourism sector. Enhanced flight operations and increased connectivity, thanks to these state-of-the-art aircraft, will attract more international tourists, boosting the tourism economy. This will not only showcase Türkiye's rich cultural heritage and natural beauty to a wider audience but also support the overall growth of the country. With our home base in Istanbul, which straddles continents, we continue our mission of bridging people from all over the world. These new aircraft are not just a step forward for Turkish Airlines but represent a leap forward for the broader aviation and tourism industries in Türkiye, guiding us towards an even brighter future.” 

“This order for the latest generation aircraft is a demonstration of the bold vision by Turkish Airlines. The A350-900, A350-1000, A350F and A321 will all be flagship aircraft in their respective category and efficiency drivers to shape the airline’s future and sustainable expansion, with more range, less fuel, noise and emissions and best cabin in class. The opening into the A350-1000 and the A350F highlights the cross-model value of the A350 Family and reinforces our long-lasting partnership with Turkish Airlines and Türkiye’s aviation sector overall and we are proud to accompany Türkiye’s connection to the world with our state-of-the-art aircraft,” commented Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.

A significant portion of the manufacturing process for the THY’s new aircraft is expected to take place in the UK. All the wings will be designed in Filton, Bristol, and assembled in North Wales, supporting hundreds of manufacturing jobs in the UK aerospace supply chain. Thus, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch have welcomed the historic deal for Airbus to provide 220 aircraft for Turkish Airlines, which will be worth billions of pounds to the UK and will support thousands of high-skilled jobs across the UK. The British Government said December 15, 2023 deal includes 70 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce. “This landmark deal between Turkish Airlines, Airbus and Rolls-Royce demonstrates that the sky’s the limit for the UK’s thriving aerospace sector,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement issued on the same day. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said, “This is a big win for the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector and one that will help secure high-skilled jobs across the country and drive economic growth.”

On the THY’s new order, Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgic said: “Today’s announcement marks an exciting and truly historic day for Rolls-Royce. It is proof that the actions we are taking to transform Rolls-Royce into a high performing and competitive company underpinned by profitable growth are working. The Trent XWB is the perfect engine platform to support Turkish Airlines as it continues to grow. This order will make Turkish Airlines the largest Trent XWB operator in the world, and I would like to thank them for putting their trust in Rolls-Royce...”

The A321neo is the largest aircraft in Airbus’ A320neo Family, offering unparalleled range and performance. By incorporating new generation engines and Sharklets, the A321neo brings a 50% noise reduction and more than 20% fuel savings and CO₂ reduction compared to previous generation single-aisle aircraft. Having the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the aircraft is the perfect contender for maximizing comfort.

The A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient widebody aircraft and the long-range leader in the 300-410 seater category, flying efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 9.700nm. Its clean sheet design includes state-of-the-art technologies, aerodynamics, lightweight materials and latest generation engines that together deliver 25% advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and CO₂ emissions, as well as 50% noise reduction compared to previous generation competitor aircraft. This makes the aircraft a good neighbor and global citizen wherever it flies. The A350 Family has two versions: the A350-900, and the longer fuselage A350-1000, both offering an ultimate passenger experience even on the longest of flights. Its innovative design delivers a true feeling of spaciousness, with wide seats, high ceilings and alluring ambient lighting.

The A350F features the largest main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimized for cargo operations. Over 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials, which together with efficient Rolls-Royce engines generate an advantage of at least 20% lower fuel burn and CO₂ emission over its current closest competitor.

THY Hosts UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi BADENOCH in a Pivotal Meeting and Aircraft Showcase

On January 5, 2024 Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Türkiye, welcomed the Business and Trade Secretary for the United Kingdom Kemi Badenoch, along with Airbus Türkiye President Simon Ward and Rolls-Royce’s President for the Middle East, Türkiye and Africa (META) John Kelly for a momentous meeting and tour of one of its Airbus A350 aircraft. This event marks a key milestone in enhancing aviation relations between Türkiye and the United Kingdom.

Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat remarked, “We are happy to welcome Secretary Badenoch today and continue to take another step in Turkish Airlines' journey of international collaboration and innovation. Our discussions have set the stage for strengthened ties and enriched cooperation of our respective countries’ aviation sectors, aligning with our vision for a progressive and sustainable global aviation industry. With our sizable new order of Airbus aircraft and Rolls Royce engines, we plan to continue to maintain our leading position in global aviation in the years to come.”

Business and Trade Secretary for the UK Kemi Badenoch said; “I’m delighted to be here following the historic deal with Turkish Airlines and UK-based Airbus and Rolls Royce -a deal that highlights our thriving trade relationship with Türkiye. Türkiye presents huge opportunities for the UK’s world leading aerospace and manufacturing sectors, and I am using visits like this to unlock further opportunities for business on both sides.”

Airbus Türkiye President Simon Ward said: "These meetings between the UK and Türkiye are a testament to increasing cooperation and partnership between the two countries, improving competitiveness and providing opportunities for businesses across many sectors. This was only recently cemented by a historic order from Turkish Airlines for 220 firm Airbus aircraft. We are proud to say that every commercial Airbus aircraft has Turkish parts and this order only reinforces our long-lasting partnership with Turkish Airlines and Türkiye’s aviation sector. Today visiting Turkish Airlines facilities at IGA Airport, we once more witness the ambitious and successful growth of Türkiye and its flagship brand Turkish Airlines."

Rolls-Royce’s President for the META John Kelly, said, “It has been a privilege to contribute to this remarkable event, fostering cooperation and strengthening the UK-Türkiye relationship. We are delighted that Turkish Airlines has recently placed an order for firm 100 Trent XWB-84 and 40 Trent XWB-97 engines, which underscores Rolls-Royce's commitment to profitable growth and aligns seamlessly with the airline’s pursuit of excellence in the aviation industry. Together we are committed to pushing the boundaries of aviation technology and ensuring a sustainable and innovative future for both organisations.”

This meeting follows Turkish Airlines’ announcement on December 15, 2023, of one of the biggest Airbus aircraft orders to date. Flag carrier also chose Rolls Royce as the engine maintenance servicer of a sizable amount of the new Airbus widebody orders to compliment several aircraft of its existing fleet which already uses UK company’s engines. This expansion reflects Turkish Airlines’ commitment to enhancing its fleet with modern, efficient aircraft, strengthening its status as a leading airline globally.

Secretary Badenoch’s visit concluded with a tour of a Turkish Airlines A350 aircraft, highlighting the advanced technology and comfort offered by the airline's contemporary fleet. This engagement not only reinforces the strong partnership between Türkiye and the UK but also lays the groundwork for future collaborative efforts in the countries’ aviation industry.

Turkish Airlines January-February 2024 Traffic Results

THY has announced its January and February 2024 traffic results on February 9, and March 7, respectively. According to traffic results THY reached a figure of 6.3 million passengers in January, up from 6.1 million (represent 2.7 increase) in January 2023, and welcomed 6.1 million guests onboard in February, an increase of 25.4% compared to 4.9 million passengers in February 2023. According to a statement issued by the airline’s Press Office, the passenger load factor was 80.3% during January (represents 0.4 point decrease compared to same period of 2023) and 81.3% (unchanged compared to same period of 2023) in February 2024, while the passenger load factor for international flights was 80.9% in February and 79.8% in January. Meanwhile, during the period of January – February 2024, total number of passengers carried increased by 12.8% to 12.3 million, compared to 10.9 million passengers in the same period of 2023 and the number of international to international guests welcomed onboard increased by 14.4% to 5 million from 4.4 million in the same period of 2023. According to traffic results during the period of January – February 2024, available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by 14.7% to 38.4 Billion from 33.5 Billion for the same period of 2023. During the period of January – February 2024 cargo-mail volume of the airline increased by 34.5% to 297.2 thousand tons from 221 thousand tons in the same period of 2023. The number of aircraft in THY fleet reached 450 by the end of February 2024.

Turkish Airlines Starts Australia-Melbourne Flights, Expanding its Operations to 6 Continents 

Flying to more international destinations than any airline in the world THY, as of January 2024, was flying to 129 countries worldwide, with 345 destinations, including Türkiye, across 5 continents. Turkish Airlines (THY) connects its passengers to the 6th continent with the start of flights to Australia. Starting from March 1, 2024 the flag carrier has incorporated Melbourne, Australia, its 346th destination in 130 countries, into its ever-expanding flight network served with its modern fleet which reached an impressive number of 452 aircraft (includes 24 cargo aircraft) as of March 15, 2024. With the Melbourne flights relayed via Singapore, THY becomes the only European airline to currently operate flights to Melbourne Airport. Turkish Airlines schedule 3 flights a week to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria State. By flying thousands of passengers on the İstanbul-Melbourne route annually, the airline will contribute to trade and tourism volumes of both countries.

Commenting on the inaugural flight to Melbourne that took place on March 1, 2024, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat stated: “Today marks a monumental milestone for Turkish Airlines, as we celebrate the realization of a long-held ambition to extend our reach to the Australian continent. This achievement follows meticulous planning and extensive infrastructure developments, symbolizing the successful bridging of Istanbul with a new and vibrant continent. The inauguration of our Melbourne route is a testament to our growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region and underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and communities across the globe. Australia, with its breathtaking landscapes and warm-hearted people, now becomes the 130th country to join our expansive network, signifying our presence across six continents. Through our unparalleled network, we are thrilled to offer our guests a gateway to global exploration, ensuring that our legacy of exceptional service quality continues to flourish in every corner of the world.”

Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins stated: “Victoria is home to Australia’s largest Türkiye-born community, a big nod to our vibrant multicultural state. We look forward to creating easier connections for this community and boosting tourism with the arrival of Turkish Airlines.”

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus said the airline’s entry into the Australian market provides new options for travellers and local exporters: “Turkish Airlines has an extensive network and flies to more countries than any other airline so this new competitor in the Australian market is fantastic news for consumers. We’ve worked closely with the Victorian State Government to bring Turkish Airlines to Melbourne, and we now look forward to see them growing their services over the coming years. Increased competition helps put downward pressure on prices, which will ensure Victorian residents and businesses can stay connected with family, friends and clients around the world. Melbourne is proudly home to the largest Turkish population in Australia, so we expect these flights will prove particularly popular with people looking to visit friends and relatives.”

AJET, New Low-Cost Subsidiary of THY, to Commence Flights on March 31, 2024

Established in 2008 as a successful brand of Turkish Airlines (THY), and reunited over 150 million guests with their loved ones in 16 years, AnadoluJet will conduct its operations under the name “AJet Air Transportation Inc.” as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkish Airlines (THY), starting from the end of March 2024. Established as a low-cost airline of global standards and to strengthen its competitive position in the market, AJet will continue its operations based from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Ankara Esenboğa Airports. 

In preparation for the summer travel season, the airline plans to operate a fleet of 103 aircraft to 93 destinations (covering 52 international and 41 domestic routes) in 33 countries. AJet airline will continue to operate short and medium-haul routes driven by leisure demand. According to AJet’s fleet expansion plan, by 2033 the airline will fly to 44 countries, covering 42 domestic and 80 international routes with our 200 aircraft.

THY Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat commented on the establishment of AJet: "In line with our goals for the next 10 years, we are proud to have started the establishment process of our AJet. The efforts and dedication we have put in for a long time have paid off, and we will introduce AJet to the skies with the summer schedule at the end of March 2024. We fully believe that AJet, with its new name, will become an important part of the low-cost aviation industry on global scale.”

Following its formal establishment on July 14, 2023 and completion of its registration process at the İstanbul Trade Registry Office on August 7, 2023, AJet, Turkish Airlines’ new low-cost subsidiary, made its first application on August 28, 2023 to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) within the framework of the Regulation on Commercial Air Transport Enterprises. All application processes was completed and AJet was granted an Air Operator Certificate by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (SHGM) on January 2, 2024. The operating license delivery ceremony to AJet was held at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure on January 2, with the participation of Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloğlu.

Spoke at AOC delivery ceremony Minister Uraloğlu made the following evaluations: “We followed the necessary investigations with our General Directorate of Civil Aviation and as of today, we are issuing Ajet’s operating license. At the end of last year, we opened the second runway of Sabiha Gökçen Airport. We closed the year with aviation. We are opening the first shift of the new year with aviation. THY is in the red and AJet is in the red. It has a blue logo indicating aviation. The seat design is truly ergonomic. It will offer comfortable travel to passengers. We have 14 companies operating in aviation. 11 of them carry cargo and passengers, and 3 of them carry cargo. Like THY, Anadolu Jet is also in our nearby geography. "We have no hesitation about it becoming a brand. We will receive the next export figures separately as THY and AJet."

THY Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Ahmet Bolat pointed out that AnadoluJet will serve as AJet with 103 aircraft this year and will fly to 52 international and 41 domestic destinations, and added, “It will bring 16 million international passengers from abroad. We aim to carry 8 million on domestic lines. We plan to respond to the demand on domestic lines by adding 15% more capacity in 2024. The configurations of our aircraft are changing. We made an agreement for 355 Airbus. From here, we expect to launch our AJet as soon as possible. We will replace it with new generation aircraft. We will offer services with more standardized cabin configuration both inside and outside. Our seats are much more comfortable than those on the market. They are also quite comfortable in terms of legroom. In 2022, THY brought 14.8 Billion USD to Türkiye, 5.9% of this remained in Türkiye. Last year’s figure was 16.2 Billion USD, of which 8 Billion USD remained in Türkiye. AJet will be the export gate from Sabiha Gökçen to Turkey.”

After getting its operating license on January 2, 2024 AJet airline has started its ticket sales under the name ‘AJet’ on its official website as of March 12, 2024. Now under its new name and scope, AJET is aiming to above clouds on March 31 to offer more modern, comfortable, and accessible experience for its guests while planning to be a prominent low-cost airline of a global scale and further strengthen its competitive position in the market.


Founded in 1933, and employs around 85.000 staff with its 13 subsidiaries and Joint Ventures (includes 3 airways; SunExpress, Air Albania and AJet), Turkish Airlines (THY) continues to proudly fly our national flag among aviation giants as a brand that steers the industry through its unique wide flight network, modern fleet and successful crisis management. In the upcoming period, in order to continue growing Turkish Industry’s sustainably in line with the development targets of Türkiye, THY’s goal, as the national flag carrier, is to carry Türkiye further to new success stories 

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