National flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) will double its number of flights from Istanbul Airport soon, the CEO of the airline said yesterday.
"We continue to grow in our new home Istanbul Airport, where we have served over 66,000 passengers so far," CEO Bilal Ekşi tweeted.
He said the carrier would add new domestic and international flights from Istanbul Airport to its schedule. Ekşi also stated that Istanbul Airport is a great source of pride.
THY currently flies to three domestic and two international destinations from Istanbul Airport, namely Ankara, Antalya, İzmir, Baku in Azerbaijan and Ercan in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Once completed, Istanbul Airport will be the world's biggest international airport, covering 76.5 million square meters. The first phase of the airport opened on Oct. 29 on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. The grand opening ceremony was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish ministers, officials and heads of state from around the world.
Commercial flights at the new airport started in early November. The airport has the potential to welcome 90 million passengers annually and following the second phase of construction, expected to be completed in 2023, this number will reach up to 200 million. The airport will operate flights to 350 destinations worldwide.
THY, founded in 1933, currently flies to over 300 destinations in more than 120 countries, holding the title of the airline that flies to the most number of countries in the world. THY operates a total of 329 aircraft - including 217 narrow-body, 92 wide-body and 20 cargo aircraft - and aims to raise this number to 475 by 2023.
The company carried nearly 58 million domestic and international passengers in the first nine months of 2018. The total number of passengers rose 12 percent year-on-year in the nine-month period.
Last year, the airline carried 68.6 million passengers with a 79.1 percent seat occupancy rate.