Dear Guests,
Here at Turkish Airlines we are proud to have put another successful year behind us. Voted Europe’s best airline for the last two years, Turkish Airlines stands out today not only for its success in numbers but also for its distinctive concept of quality service. Our primary goal in the year ahead is to become Europe’s first five-star airline.

You are going to see a different Turkish Airlines in 2013 as I hinted in my letter on this page in last month’s issue. I have emphasized then that our basic approach is to go beyond expectations, bridge the world, and serve sincerely with an open heart. Turkish Airlines owes its success to the appreciation shown by you, our valuable passengers. Keeping that in mind, we will keep exceeding your expectations and be even more considerate of you.

Before discussing the innovations and targets we have set for the year ahead, I would like to briefly review 2012. Rendering an uninterrupted growth since 2003, Turkish Airlines is to exceed its targeted passenger numbers and end the year with close to 40 million, making us third in Europe by number of passengers carried. Since 2003 we have inaugurated new flights to 11 domestic and 95 international destinations. With the ten new routes we are opening this month, our flight network is expanding to 217 cities. We plan to add another 33 new flight destinations in 2013. Serving 92 countries at present, we fly to more countries than any other airline in the world. And we hope to fly to more cities than any other airline by the end of 2013.

We recently staged a ceremony for the 200th plane added to our fleet, which continues to expand with the delivery of planes ordered earlier. With the arrival of those new aircraft we keep up our position as the airline with the youngest fleet in Europe. Another piece of news we have for you is about our orders for new planes. We have signed a contract for 20 Boeing 777-300 and 15 Airbus 330-300 aircraft to be delivered over the next 4 years. With the addition of those planes, more new routes, long-haul in particular, will be added to our flight network.

That all this growth is also backed up by our financial results is particularly gratifying to us. Figures for the first three quarters of 2012 indicate that our basic operating profit came to 1.08 billion Turkish Liras. Net profit too was up by TL 868 million compared to the same period of last year.

Dear Guests,
As we witness the unparalleled emergence of our part of the world today, we are excited to see Istanbul again becoming the center of the Mediterranean on both the North-South and the East-West axes. Istanbul is soon going to see construction of a third airport, one of the biggest in the world; Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines already flies to more countries than any other airline; and our region of the world is fast emerging today -- all indications of strategic thinking thatcorrectly interpret what has been happening.

One fact always foremost in our mind is this: The main drive behind Turkish Airlines’ success is that you, our valuable passengers, are pleased with us and choose us for your travels. Customer expectations are rising by day in aviation as in all other sectors, and this is what fuels our efforts. A three-star airline when we took it over, we have turned Turkish Airlines into a four-star airline today with the outcome that we have been voted Europe’s best airline for two consecutive years. We have introduced numerous innovations in the concept of service quality. The flying chef we have introduced on our long-haul routes has met with your favor, and contributed to a rise in customers’ satisfaction with the meals we serve. We would now like to chalk up another first by offering this service on our other routes as well.

I would like to thank here all the employees of Turkish Airlines and my entire team for their efforts and dedication. In the end, the success of a company is down to the efforts of all its employees. I express my appreciation as well to all the colleagues who have served Turkish Airlines in the past and are no longer with us. Together we have made Turkish Airlines a global brand by joining hands to get the job done. This team has expanded our flight network almost three-fold, quadrupled our passenger numbers, and been responsible for a significant increase in our brand awareness.

We know that to become the Europe’s first five-star airline we need to be even more attentive to you. Your suggestions, criticisms or complaints are invaluable for us. We examine all of them carefully, and take the necessary steps rapidly to address them. I would like to announce yet another innovation of ours. We have created a ‘Passenger Rights Board’. The members of this board examine your complaints and any situations encountered in practice and pass along the areas in which improvement is needed so that such problems will not occur again. All our units are also informed of the situation promptly. We would like to ask you to please submit your complaints, suggestions and ideas in writing by emailing us at customer@thy.com. The emails you send, which drop in my inbox as well, are carefully evaluated by our designated personnel and the necessary action is taken immediately.

In the hope that the New Year will bring peace and comfort to all people, and an end to suffering, I wish you and your beloved ones health and happiness.

Sincerely yours,
Temel Kotil, Ph.D.