Turkish low-cost airline Onur Air has recently announced that it will add six to seven new Airbus aircraft to its existing fleet as of August after some signs of recovery in the country's tourism sector and increasing demands. General Manager of Onur Air Teoman Tosun said the signs of recovery have begun to show after what was a challenging year for Turkey's aviation sector in 2016.
He added that the airline is planning to increase the number of flights due to an increasing demand and needed to add six to seven aircraft to its existing fleet, between August and the end of 2018.
Tosun also noted that there were some interested firms looking for partnerships, especially from the Middle East. He said that they would sell shares if they found a suitable investor for Onur Air's structure
In an interview with Reuters, Tosun said that the improvement in the aviation sector has come to a visible level, compared to the end of April. "We are especially winning back the Russian market. Considering the latest data, the number of passengers carried, the occupancy rates,
and the lines opened, we are even more optimistic. We'll get better results in 2017 than 2016. I hope 2018 will be even better," Tosun added.
According to the State Airports Authority (DHMİ), the number of passengers in Turkey increased 0.1 percent to reach 50.2 million nationwide as of the end of April. The Tourism Ministry's data indicates that the number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 18.1 percent in April.
Noting that an improvement is expected in the number of European tourists, Tosun suggested that Europeans habitually visit Turkey. Given the price-quality factor, Europeans will slowly return according to recent indicators.
"The contracts of major tourism companies such as Thomas Cook have begun to return slowly, and they have begun to give up on cancellations," he said.
Tosun recalled that the company had to sell off four of its aircraft during the challenging period faced by the aviation industry last year. "However, we have begun to make plans to purchase aircraft again as of August 2017, and we will do this quickly," he continued. "We can add six to seven aircraft to our fleet, two of them with big airframes and double corridors. They will all be Airbus. We will start in August 2017 and continue in 2018."
According to the information provided by Tosun, the occupancy rate at Onur Air is around 90 percent on domestic flights and around 75 percent on international flights.
As a low-cost airline company, Onur Air carried close to 5 million passengers on both scheduled and unscheduled flights in 2016, making around TL 1.5 billion ($338.98 million) in turnover.