Latin American countries' rising interest in Turkey led to an increase of 21.1 percent in the number of passengers carried by the national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) in the first two months of this year. While 70,679 Latin American passengers chose THY in this period, the seat occupancy rate in this market reached 85 percent.
The number of Latin Americans visiting Turkey last year climbed by 59 percent to 252,000. Brazilians took the lead in arrivals from South America with 78,691 passengers, scoring an increase of 58 percent.
While the upward trend was also maintained this year, arrivals for faith tourism further increased the number of THY passengers from Latin American countries. Last year THY carried 403,000 passengers in this market with an increase of 6.5 percent, while 70,679 passengers came from the region in the January-February period of this year, recording an increase of 21.1 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
In this region, THY flies to Colombia's capital Bogota, Cuba's capital Havana, Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, Brazil's financial center Sao Paulo, Venezuela's capital city Caracas and Panama. THY will soon schedule flights to Mexico City and Cancun in Mexico.
Turkish Airlines said Monday it served a total of 10.85 million passengers in the first two months of this year. In the two-month period, the total number of passengers carried by the company rose 0.4 percent year-on-year. Over the same period, the airline's seat occupancy rate, passenger load factor, was 79.6 percent.
Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries with its fleet of 338 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes.
Last year, the company carried 75.2 million passengers with a seat occupancy rate of 82 percent, and this year aims to reach 80 million passengers on domestic and international routes.
According to the 2018 data, 68,668 visitors came from Argentina with an increase of 42.23 percent compared to the previous year, while Brazil sent 78,691 visitors, seeing an increase of 58.16 percent. Some 56,031 passengers flew from Colombia with an increase of 88.97 percent, 14,609 from Chile with a 32.92 percent increase and 9,246 from Venezuela with 32.92 percent increase compared to the previous year. Other South American countries sent 25,352 visitors in total with an increase of 64 percent.
Given the number of passengers carried by the national flag carrier in the January-February period of 2019, some 925,909 passengers came from the Middle East with an increase of 11.6 percent, while the number of European passengers rose by 5.5 percent to 3.2 million. The Far East, on the other hand, sent 899,760 passengers in this period, with an increase of 5.3 percent. The number of passengers from North America saw an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching 332,848, while THY carried 540,351 visitors from Africa with a 1.2 percent increase. Central and South America increased their number of THY passengers by 21.1 percent to 70,679.