Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) carried some 5.7 million passengers in January this year, the airline announced Tuesday.
The number of its international passengers increased by 2.8 percent, while the number of domestic passengers dropped by 3.5 percent.
The carrier completed January with a seat occupancy rate of 79.5 percent, with domestic load factor at 87.1 percent and international load factor at 78.3 percent.
While the seat occupancy rate in the international lines was 78.3 percent, this figure reached 87.1 percent in domestic lines. The number of International-to-international transfer passengers (transit passengers) increased by 5.2 percent year-on-year.
Cargo or mail carried during this period maintained its double-digit growth trend, showing an increase of 14.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the growth in cargo/mail volume was driven by a 21 percent increase in Europe, 13.7 percent in the Far East and 11 percent in North America.
The seat occupancy rate saw an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the Far East and 1 percentage points in North America compared to January 2018, the carrier said.
Commenting on the traffic results, THY Chairman İlker Aycı said they achieved record figures almost throughout the whole year. "Regarding the first monthly results of 2019, which we announced today, seeing the continuity of this momentum is an important sign of our stable performance in the coming months," Aycı noted.
"As we have always said, 2019 would be a great year for both our national aviation and flag carrier. It is quite pleasing for us, as the Turkish Airlines, to have started this important year with high occupancy rates," the THY chairman said.
The airline carried 75.2 million passengers last year. The total number of passengers the company flew was up 10 percent year-on-year in 2018. It had aimed to carry up to 74 million passengers in 2018.
The company previously said that it was targeting a total of 80 million passengers this year, including 33 million on domestic and 47 million on international flights.
Founded in 1933, THY currently flies to over 300 destinations in more than 120 countries, holding the title of the airline that flies to most countries in the world.