Dear guests, Turkish Airlines is continuing to expand its flight network both through the new routes it is opening and by increasing the frequency of flights on its existing routes.
This year’s first foreign stop on the new routes that are going to offer our passengers more flight possibilities was Nairobi (Kenya). There will be three flights a week to Nairobi, our airline’s 110th flight destination. Ufa (Russia) will join our flight network on 4 March and Mashhad (Iran) on 15 March.
The opening of the new routes parallels Turkey’s opening up to the rest of the world in the economic sphere. While facilitating the growth of Turkish Airlines in the foreign markets, this also contributes to growth in the volume of trade between Turkey and the countries to which the airline flies. Both Turkish and foreign businessmen save time by flying direct, as well as traveling in greater comfort. Direct flights also spur growth in travel for touristic purposes.
Continuing to grow in 2009, Turkish Airlines was tops by growth in number of passengers among European airlines of comparable size with an increase of 15.6% in this item in 2008. Turkish Airlines exhibited a similar success in cargo transport. Taking first place with 8.1% growth in freight ton kilometers (FTK) in the AEA group, it nudged out its closest competitor by a scant 0.1%. Turkish Airlines Cargo sustained its growth by carrying some 200,000 tons of cargo during the year.
Despite the contraction in the market due to the financial crisis, we have not scaled back our targets for 2009. We aim to transport 26 million passengers and 230,000 tons of cargo this year. And the traffic results we have already chalked up in the first two months indicate that these goals are going to be realized.
As our number of passengers and our revenues rise, we are continuing our operations with the idea of how we could improve the quality our service even more. The mystery shopper project we have implemented for the last two years and the feedback we have received from our honorary observers are showing us the way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our valuable passengers who have contributed their opinions and suggestions. We invest so as to serve passengers who choose Turkish Airlines for their travels with greater speed and comfort and to develop training programs for the employees who serve those passengers as well as modernizing our systems. In the days ahead we are going to share with you the concrete results of the projects we are engaged in in this field.
I thank you for flying Turkish Airlines and wish you a pleasant flight.
With my best regards,
Temel KOTİL, Ph.D.,
CEO and Member of the Board