Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) has realized a real operating profit of $189 million in the second quarter of this year following $17 million in the first half, according to a statement released by the company. In the second quarter, passenger revenues increased by 5 percent to $2.2 billion, cargo revenues climbed by 29 percent to $327 million, and total revenues surged by 7 percent to $2.6 billion, while the total revenues amounted to $4.6 billion in the first half of the year.
While the expense saving plan launched in the second half of last year continued in 2017, total operational expenses decreased by 7 percent in the second quarter to $2.5 billion.
THY continued to be the airline with the lowest unit cost among its competitors with a decline in prices of 10 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. In addition, unit costs excluding fuel showed a significant decline of 13 percent.
Despite the intense competition in the global sector, political and economic instability in its surrounding area, and fluctuations in exchange rates, THY continued to generate cash. EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased by 109 percent to $661 million in the second quarter of 2017, while the EBITDA margin increased by 12.3 percent to 25.3 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year.
The number of aircrafts in THY's fleet, which made flights to a total of 120 countries with five new international destinations opened in the first half of the year, reached 336, with 228 being narrow-bodied, 93 being wide-bodied and 15 being cargo. Considering the traffic results, the number of passengers carried increased by 8.5 percent to 17.3 million and the occupancy rate reached 77.7 percent with an increase of 4.1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, as tourism revived in the second quarter of 2017.
The passenger occupancy rate of international flights, in which a significant portion of the revenues were obtained, stood at 76.8 percent with an increase of 4.5 percent. Passenger occupancy rate increased by 2.4 percent to 76 percent while 30.3 million passengers were carried in the first half due to the operational success of the second quarter. Turkish Cargo, one of the fastest growing air cargo brands in the world, continues to maintain its strong growth trend over the past 10 years, as well as increasing its share in the world air cargo market. A total of 289,000 tons of cargo was carried in the second quarter of this year with an increase of 31 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, while cargo revenues increased by 29 percent to $327 million in this quarter.
As a result of the increase in the number of cargo aircrafts and the more efficient use of the aircrafts, the capacity produced by cargo aircrafts continues to increase and the cargo flight network continues to expand. In this direction, the number of cargo flight destinations, which stood at 55 at the beginning of 2016, rose to 65 in the second half of 2017.
THY, the most valuable brand and the biggest service exporter in Turkey, providing employment for approximately 50,000 people with its subsidiaries, continues to produce successful results, contribute to Turkey and grow steadily towards the goal of becoming one of the world's leading airline companies by using all competitive advantages such as its geographical location, network and low-cost structure in the most effective way despite the competition in the global sector, political and economic instability in its neighbors and the exchange rate fluctuations directly affecting the sector.