ISTANBUL — TurkishAirlines announced 25.8 percent growth in passenger traffic from the Middle East in 2013 compared to 2012. The airline also recorded an increase in passenger figures from the Middle East in the first quarter of 2014 at 19.6 percent compared to the same period in 2013. "The Middle East has undoubtedly underlined its credentials as one of the fastest-growing aviation and tourist hubs. With a stronger focus on the region, we will continue to play a key role in connecting passengers seamlessly with the rest of the world while serving as a true partner to Turkey's burgeoning economy," said Adem Ceylan, vice president of marketing and sales for Turkish Airlines in the Middle East and Cyprus, Gulf Business reported on Wednesday.
Globally, the airline received 48.3 million passengers in 2013, a 23 percent increase over the 39 million recorded in 2012. For 2014, the airline forecasts 25 percent growth in passenger numbers, reaching 60 million. This will be aided by the addition of 16 aircraft by the end of the year, bringing Turkish's total to 263. In addition, the Turkish carrier is adding 17 new destinations in the coming months including Abha, Saudi Arabia and Ahvaz, Iran, bringing the total number of new destinations in 2014 to 20. Turkish Airlines covers 14 countries and 34 destinations in the region. The airline also recorded a 22 percent growth in passenger traffic in Dubai, 43 percent in Abu Dhabi, 30 percent in Qatar and 35 percent in Kuwait in 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.