Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) will launch additional flights to Los Angeles after a significant rise in the number of transit passengers.
After carrying more than 1.7 million passengers on the route in the last eight years, THY decided to increase the number of flights from seven to 11 by July next year.
It will operate 10 flights a week on the Istanbul-Los Angeles route as of June 10, 2020, before making it 11 on July 14, 2020.
The company has seen an 8.5% increase in the number of transit passengers in the first eight months this year, as more than 16 million people flew through Istanbul.
The company has carried around 112,000 passengers to Los Angeles in the first half of this year alone. It carried 228,450 passengers in 2018, 218,569 in 2017, 239,435 in 2016, and 210,409 passengers in 2015 on the same route.
The number of transit passengers on THY's Los Angeles flights is more than those departing from Turkey since many Iranian-born U.S. citizens use Istanbul as a transit hub to the city. THY ranks top in transit passengers from Iran, Israel, Lebanon, India, Jordan and Saudi Arabia on the Los Angeles route that flies Boeing 777-type aircraft from Istanbul Airport every day at 1:05 p.m.
The carrier's occupancy rates on North American routes reached 93.2% in the first eight months of this year, serving some 224,000 passengers.
It also carried 13,481 tons of cargo and mail in the January-August period with a 24.8% increase in North American flights.
Founded in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, THY currently has 343 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes, and flies to 315 destinations worldwide in 126 countries. In 2018, the airline carried 75.2 million passengers, with an annual rise of 10%.