LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Dear Passengers, I would like to take the January issue of Skylife magazine as an opportunity for sharing with you some of our plans and dreams for 2006 and beyond.
A new climate of stability has been created in Turkey, which actively supports civil aviation. This, together the spread to the Far East of worldwide liberalization and the concomitant phenomenon of the Low Cost Carrier born of the price-sensitive passenger profile, has led to some interesting developments in our sector. Meanwhile as oil prices climbed sharply and continue to hover at high levels, the cost of acquiring both new and second-hand aircraft has risen as well.
All of these positive and challenging factors have created an excellent opportunity for us to launch some fresh new initiatives at Turkish Airlines. Following an assessment of what airline passengers want and what they value most, and of what we could build upon Turkish Airlines’ 72 years of experience, we on the Board of Directors formulated a ‘Strategy for 2005-2014’ and drafted an Action Plan, which we lost no time in putting into effect.
With our decision to purchase 59 new aircraft, the first five of which were added to our fleet last month, we have firmly established Turkish Airlines’ identity as a ‘Global Airline’ at the highest level. Parallel with our great country’s ambition, we at Turkish Airlines also intend to be there with our own aspirations that we are determined to realize. But being the airline with the youngest fleet in Europe is of course not sufficient in itself. Our supreme goal is to provide service at the highest level during the entire process from the moment our passengers arrive at the airport, by enabling them to gain easy access to their plane, enjoy a safe and pleasant flight and, back on the ground again, retrieve their bags promptly. For, as proud as you may be of the size and youth of our Turkish Airlines fleet, as long as you are not satisfied with every single aspect of your flight experience we cannot be considered to have done our job.
Traffic at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport has doubled, even tripled in recent years, making it difficult for flights to be operated on time and, unfortunately, causing serious delays. Starting in 2006, all flight slots, barring exceptions, will be mapped out in advance, thereby eliminating arbitrary practices at the airport. When slot coordination is effectively implemented, both Turkish and foreign companies will operate more punctually. We would like you to know that we at Turkish Airlines have vowed to become world champion this year in preventing delays that arise from factors within our control.
Meanwhile we have also directed a token amount of the Istanbul traffic to the Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the city’s Asian side. And when the new terminal at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport comes into service at the end of 2006, Turkish Airlines’ Ankara operations will once again be at your command, offering new alternatives to you, our passengers. Another thing our passengers appreciate is the large number of alternatives we offer them on their travels. Our goal in this regard is to increase the frequency of flights on our existing routes in respond to demand, while expanding our network by adding new destinations connecting Turkey with the world. The up to 24 new destinations that are going to be opened up in 2006 are at the same time an indication of our confidence in Turkey’s future. As if all this were not enough, we are also going to enjoy the pleasure of offering a veritable plethora of alternatives to our passengers when Turkish Airlines enters one of the three Global Alliances.
Lowering costs as far as possible without jeopardizing flight safety in order to offer you, our passengers, a quality product at the most attractive price has become an on-going concern of ours. To bring Turkish Airlines’ flight pleasure and safety to passengers who are sensitive to almost nothing but price, we are making preparations to introduce a no-frills, low-cost product offering even more economical fares sometime in 2006, at the appropriate time and with the appropriate trademark.
It is a great honor and source of pride for us, the management and all the employees of Turkish Airlines, to fly the Turkish skies and, in doing so, to work efficiently, and therefore profitably, in a competitive environment, a burden on no one; to open up Turkey to the world and the world to the Turks, and, as we do so, to be a force of good in the world by flying people to their destinations in safety, security and tranquility. Feelings such as these are an important motivating factor for the valued and respected employees of Turkish Airlines, who earn their livelihood by the sweat of their brow. Rather than soliciting your support, I hope that you will continue to pass along your suggestions, your praise and your criticism, during a year of activity in which we will earn that support through our efforts.
With best regards on behalf of the Board of Directors,
Chairman of the Board