SunExpress, a joint venture of Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) and Germany's Lufthansa, has been named the world's fifth-Best Leisure Airline for the second time in a row, the airline announced yesterday. SunExpress was also ranked the Best Leisure Airline in Turkey in the prestigious 2019 Skytrax Awards.
The awards are based on surveys done on more than 20 million passengers from over 100 countries, it said. London-based Skytrax has been doing the surveys since 1999. Founded as a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa in 1989, SunExpress flies to more than 90 destinations in over 30 countries. The carrier is based in Antalya, with İzmir on the Aegean coast serving as an additional important hub. Earlier, the carrier said it offers a record capacity of 6.6 million seats from Central Europe to Turkey in 2019.
Officials added that the company will operate direct flights to 36 destinations in Europe from 16 cities in the country. The airline, which connects Turkey's holiday resort and its hub, Antalya, with the most international destinations with direct scheduled flights, is now also offering the most number of seats in the company's history to the city. The city will be served with 3.7 million seats during the summer of this year.
As part of the summer season flights, the carrier has started direct scheduled flights from Antalya to Europe's most popular destinations, including Oslo, Eindhoven and Gothenburg and has recently added Prague to its flight network. It will also launch flights to the German city of Friedrichshafen Besides the Konya-Olso flight that was launched recently, some of its new routes this summer from Anatolia will be Düsseldorf-Malatya, Düsseldorf-Kütahya/Zafer, Cologne-Samsun, Stuttgart-Diyarbakir and Stuttgart-Konya. The airline grew by 10 percent in 2018 year-on-year and generated a revenue of approximately 1.3 billion euros ($1.46 billion). The number of passengers the company carried in 2018 reached 10 million, up 10 percent year-on-year, while the load factor stood at 84 percent.