We are expanding our flight network in order to offer you, our valued customers, a more effective and flexible service. In 2011, we will add 14 new international destinations to our network, which currently consists of 41 locations domestically and 133 internationally. We continue our efforts to make Istanbul, which is already a natural transfer point, a favored transit location.
Imagine you have a world map in front of you and have placed the point of a compass on Istanbul. Now, draw a circle to encompass an area within a time zone of four to five hours; this area shows the first ring of our flight network. We use our wide-body aircraft to cover this area, which encompasses Northern Europe, India, Central Africa, and Western Europe, in an effective manner. Now expand the compass a little more, and draw another wide circle, this time from Japan to the west coast of the USA, from Brazil to the southernmost point of Africa. We cover this area with our wide-body aircraft. We are glad to have gained the ability to take you from one end of the world to the other by raising the number of wide-body aircraft we operate from twenty to thirty-eight.
These steps, together with your kind regard and support, have bolstered our success. Turkish Airlines, which carried 10 million passengers in 2001, exhibited great progress and increased this number to approximately 30 million in 2010. There is no stopping; our aim is to reach 35 million in 2011. Additionally, we have become one of the top choices among transit passengers from around the world. The best indicator of this is that our transit passengers increased by 550 percent over 2001. We have given the opportunity to experience the superior quality of Turkish Airlines’ service to our passengers from all over the world. Furthermore, we have also started offering many innovative services, from city tours of Istanbul for our passengers that have connecting flights to hotel accommodation for our Business Class passengers.
Our greatest sources of motivation are the pleasure we feel from living up to our slogan, “Globally Yours,” and your kind regard.
I would like to use this opportunity to show my respects by commemorating our great leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and all our fallen soldiers on the anniversary of our victory in Gallipoli on March 18.
I thank you for choosing Turkish Airlines, and wish you a pleasant flight.
Temel Kotil, Ph.D.
CEO and Member of the Executive Committee