Flying as a hobby

We are living in the age of information and communications. In time’s rapid flow every minute is steadily appreciating in value, and flying is taking on new meaning in human life today. Previously perceived as a pleasure or a privilege, airplanes are part and parcel of travel nowadays.

I’ve had a special interest in aviation ever since I can remember. First it was trying to fly paper airplanes. Later I made and chased model airplanes. Those were my biggest interests when I was a boy. The responsibilities I undertook after graduating from university led to a growing fascination with planes and airlines, with the result that the subject became a serious hobby of mine. Such a hobby that I started keeping track not only of the types and models of the aircraft in our distinguished Turkish Airlines fleet, but even of the tail codes! And while I may not have as many as my good friend and colleague Dr. Suphi Ayvaz, my many envelopes filled with tickets, boarding passes and documents by the thousands constitutes a small collection, to some utterly superfluous but to me a raft of papers I don’t have the heart to discard. Over the years I have forged many strong friendships with valuable people who have held executive positions with our national airline or have served it in a volunteer capacity. Even my wife is chosen from this sector, from Turkish Airlines! And I couldn’t be happier about that and my hobby.

We should treasure Turkish Airlines, the sole trademark flying our flag in the world today, and protect it with our lives. As President of the International Archery Federation I am especially proud that our flag is flying on five continents, and I believe and have confidence in our global sponsor. More than that, I know that air transport is the safest form of travel. And when I consider that every single key component of an airplane, which is a product of modern technology, has at least one spare part, it gives me even further confidence. Consequently, I frankly don’t agree at all with the way some passengers turn to each other and say with a sigh relief, ‘’Geçmiş olsun!’ (literally, May it be over!) when the plane has landed.

As a person who flies frequently all over the world on business, and who has traveled on many different airlines and is in a position to compare them down to the smallest detail, I can safely say that Turkish Airlines today with its modern, young fleet, its experienced flight and ground crews, and its outstanding catering service is a world airline and we should all take pride in it.

Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener,
President, International Archery Federation,
Member, International Olympic Committee