Flynas, the Saudi Arabian private air carrier that recently marked its 10th anniversary in the aviation sector, has boosted its target in Turkey operations. The airline company, which already offers flights to Istanbul, Adana and Hatay from Jeddah and Riyadh, will launch direct flights to Trabzon in 2018. Flynas CEO Paul Byrne said that the airline carries 550,000 passengers between Saudi Arabia and Turkey on an annual basis, noting that they aim to increase this figure to 650,000 by next year. With 28 planes in the company's fleet, Byrne noted that they've ordered 120 new planes. "We have invested about $7.5 billion in new planes that will join our fleet in August 2018," Byrne added.
Flynas Turkey General Manager Cem Tanyeri said that the air carrier services 21 percent of Saudi tourists who come to Turkey, adding: "We had 11 flights a week in 2011. Now, we have 33 flights on a weekly basis, and this will rise to 38 with direct flights to Trabzon next year."
Initially launching flights to Turkey in 2011, Flynas has expanded eightfold in six years. Tanyeri said: "We achieved the biggest leap in the 2015-2016 period when our country experienced its hardest times. Saudis love our country, and they consider Turkey separately from the Qatar crisis. We have never suspended our investments as Flynas has full confidence in Turkey."
Bedirhan Bayka, chairman of Flynas' Turkish partner, Sky Turizm, emphasized that flights to Trabzon would give a serious impetus to tourism in the Black Sea region. Reiterating that Sky Turizm serves as a tour operator in Turkey, Bayka said, "We have sold 100,000 package tours this year, 20,000 of which have been sold to tourists from Germany, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia." Bayda added that they aim to increase incoming operations four-fold in 2018 and that they also plan to expand in Saudi Arabia with flights to Trabzon and plan to carry 80,000 tourists to Turkey.