With tourists flocking to popular Turkish coastal resorts once more, the Turkish-German joint venture SunExpress is adding capacity to ferry German holidaymakers.
The carrier is offering a 15% capacity rise in Antalya flights and 20% rise in Izmir flights this month, said a Monday statement by SunExpress, a joint venture of Turkish Airlines (THY) and Lufthansa, the countries’ flag carriers.
The move follows last week’s decision by Germany to lift travel warnings for the Turkish resort destinations of Antalya, Izmir, Muğla (including Fethiye) and Aydın. The move follows consultations between German and Turkish officials and is a part of a deal to help revive tourism between the two countries.
It also came as Turkish resorts and destinations nationwide implemented a Safe Tourism Certification Program to ensure visitors are kept safe from the coronavirus.
In March, Berlin issued a global travel warning for its citizens to avoid nonessential travel abroad due to the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions on international air travel. Three months later, it lifted its travel warning only for the European Union and the Schengen countries but extended it for all the other countries until the end of August.
Germany’s blanket travel warning was widely criticized by the tourism industry.
Turkey’s coasts have historically been among the most popular tourist destination for Germans of all ethnicities. Last year, Turkey was the second-most popular tourist destination for Germans after Spain, according to the German Travel Association (DRV). Nearly 5 million German tourists traveled to Turkey in 2019.
SunExpress is currently operating direct scheduled flights from 14 cities in Turkey to 29 cities in Europe.
Operating daily international flights from Antalya to popular German destinations such as Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin and Nuremberg, SunExpress this month is also adding Munster and Osnabruck to its flight network.
The carrier is also boosting the number of flights to London, Paris, Vienna and other European destinations, the statement said.
Based in sunny Antalya on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, SunExpress was founded in 1989 as a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa. The carrier in June said it will shut down its German charter arm, SunExpress Deutschland, and will restructure its business to focus on leisure flights to and from Turkey, as well as domestic flights in the country.
SunExpress last year saw a passenger load factor of 83% and carried an impressive total of over 10 million travelers.
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