- Waiting To Be Discovered Crimea
- Healthy Solutions For False Hunger
- Inspiration Of Poets : İzmir
- Oh, To Be In Istanbul In 2012
- Flower - Scented Cities
- Colours Of Japan
- Turkey’s Traditional Confectons
- Cappadocia : Dreamland On Earth
- Seven Seas Of The World
- The Gates Of İstanbul
- Whatever The Personal History Says!
- Trends In Travel
- Birkin Sings For The Tsunami Victims
- From Archaeology To Modern Experimentation
- Happy Family Photo
- Dancing With Dinosaurs
- Old Hands and New Talents
- Turkey In The Comics Capital Of The World!
- Travel, Cinema and Beyond
- Australia In Five Questions
- Five Golden Rules Of Frugal Travel
- Eye Of The Artist
- Yüksel Aksu’s Muğla
- Forest Of White :Kartalkaya
- Quiet and Green : Kişinev
- In Prague With Michel Deguy
Here we are, together again at the start of a fresh, new year. The year we have left behind was one of major successes for Turkish Airlines as we sustained the growth spurt that began in 2006. There is an even stronger Turkish Airlines now, stronger in every way from the number of planes in our fleet and the number of destinations to which we fly to our new partnerships and infrastructure investments. Turkish Airlines has become a strong global trademark in every sense of the word.
A service concept centered around maximum customer satisfaction has had a big part in Turkish Airlines’ success, in everything from product quality and flight safety to reasonable prices and service with a smile, in short in all its operations. As an indicator of this, behind our close to 20 percent average annual increase in passenger numbers lies ever greater diversification in all our areas of strength and an overriding desire to please the customer. As if that weren’t enough, in another key event of last year we were also voted the best airline in Europe.
Yet another factor in Turkish Airlines’ emergence as a global trademark is Turkey itself. Geographically, Turkey lies at the midpoint of the Europe-Asia aviation corridor through which close to 66 percent of the intercontinental air traffic passes. And Istanbul, smack-dab in the middle of that corridor, is a natural hub whose potential was inadequately utilized until a few years ago. Still another factor that makes Turkey special is the increasingly bigger regional and global role it has played of late. That role, coupled with Turkey’s geographical situation, has propelled Turkish Airlines to the forefront as the country’s flag carrier and largest airline.
The year 2011 was a highly succesful one for Turkish Airlines. From a management standpoint however there were also some unexpected developments, which inevitably impacted on our performance. Heading the list was the tsunami disaster in Japan, which resulted in the cancellation not only of wide-body flights but of their connecting flights as well.
The second development was the incident that began in Tunisia at the beginning of the year and spread to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. The protracted unrest in Egypt, Libya and Syria especially has impacted negatively on us as a firm insofar as those countries were a growing market for us.
The third adverse development was the ongoing financial crisis in Europe that erupted in 2008. Rising oil prices coupled with the economic downturn in the European countries have affected us as well.
Despite all these negative developments, however, Turkish Airlines has sustained its upward trend of recent years. Achieving our targeted passenger numbers, we carried close to 33 million passengers in 2011, and we aim to continue that growth trend in the years ahead.
In a period of global financial meltdown, here at Turkish Airlines we have turned crisis into opportunity. We have broadened our flight network and continued to expand our fleet with wide-body, long-haul models.
In June 2012 we are going to open the narrow-body airplane hangars at our new 380.000 square-meter Aviation, Maintenance, Repair and Modification Center (HABOM), currently under construction at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport. When the center goes into service, Turkish Airlines will have taken a major step toward becoming a maintenance and repair center for the entire region, putting it in a position to address the maintenance-repair market not only of Turkey but of the European, Asian, North African and Middle Eastern countries. We are also opening a flight school, again international, at Aydın. Finally, one more factor that makes Turkish Airlines a global trademark are its close to 15 partnerships and affiliates, which give it a voice in every area of the aviation sector. All made possible, of course, by our dedicated staff of 29,600 employees.
Following investments in 2010 and 2011, Turkish Airlines is more than ready for 2012, a year in which I believe we are going to start reaping the fruits of those investments as well as achieving our growth target. We want to have the seventh largest network in the world with the new routes we are planning to open over the course of the year. Nineteen new planes purchase of which was contracted earlier will also be joining our fleet in 2012, when we aim to fly 38 million passengers and earn a turnover of 14.6 billion Turkish Liras.
We have brought our passenger numbers, which were 10 million a year in 2003 when I took over, up to 33 million and increased the number of our planes from 65 to 178, our flight destinations from 104 to 189 and the airports we fly to 196. As a member of Star Alliance, the world’s first and largest aviation alliance, we have taken a major step in our strategy to make Turkey the main connecting point between Europe and Asia. Passengers coming from around the world today make their connections using Turkish Airlines.
All these initiatives are being realized within the framework of a long-term road map we call the 2023 Strategy. Our purpose is to take Turkish Airlines to the summit globally speaking by the 100th anniversary of our Republic. And our biggest boon as we do so is a strong Turkey and our dedicated Turkish Airlines employees.
As we advance toward this challenging goal, we derive our greatest confidence and motivation from the strong favor and interest shown by you, our valuable passengers. Hand in hand with all our employees, we will sustain our resolute progress along the road to offering ever better service as long as you continue to choose Turkish Airlines.
With my best wishes for the health and happiness in 2012 of you, the friends of Turkish Airlines, I wish you all a pleasant flight.
Hamdi Topçu, Chairman
Board of Directors and Executive Committee