Turkish Airlines announces Melbourne as destination for first Australia flights

Istanbul, Turkey - September 3, 2015 : Turkish Airlines planes are getting for their next flights in Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    After years of negotiations with both state and federal Governments, Turkish Airlines has announced it will fly its first flights between Australia and Türkiye in March this year.

    The carrier had held no secrets in its ambitions to fly to Australia, although remained cagey surrounding which major city it would select as its first home, this week announcing it as Melbourne.

    The service will initially operate three times a week via Singapore, with the carrier planning to fly directly between Istanbul and Melbourne upon the purchase of new, longer-range aircraft.

    Turkish Airlines already flies to the most countries of any carrier in the world and now becomes the only European airline to fly to Melbourne Airport.

    “Istanbul is the only city to straddle two continents and has always been an important trading post, but it is now also one of the most important transit hubs in the world,” chief of aviation, Melbourne Airport, Jim Parashos, said.

    “We are thrilled to welcome Turkish Airlines to Melbourne, not only because of its world-renowned hospitality, but also because of the new possibilities in enables for travellers.

    “It’s no surprise that Turkish Airlines has chosen Melbourne as its First Australian destination given we are home to the nation’s largest Turkish community and our position as the capital of food, sport and culture.

    “These flights have been made possible thanks to the certainty provided by the relaxation of the federal government’s bilateral air services agreement with Türkiye.

    “Last month Melbourne Airport became the first capital city in Australia to exceed its pre-pandemic international seat capacity, and Turkish Airlines’ announcement today cements that recovery.

    “Türkiye is already a popular holiday destination, but we expect these new flights will encourage more Australians to explore what the country has to offer, while also enticing more people to visit our incredible part of the world.”

    Chairman of the board and the executive committee of Turkish Airlines, Professor DR. Ahmet Bolat said the airline is looking forward to launching the Australian services.

    Chairman of Turkish Airlines, Ahmet Bolat at an event in Melbourne last year. Image: Zach Havard

    “As the airline flying to more countries than any other, we are excited to add Melbourne to our flight network as the 346th destination,” he said.

    “Endowed with natural beauty and a warming people, Australia becomes the 130th country and 6th continent under our wings.

    “Proudly connecting people, cultures and continents for over 90 years, Turkish Airlines will offer Australians an award-winning service quality and an unparalleled flight network.

    “We are glad to be here and plan to strengthen our presence in this great by both increasing the frequency of our flights and the number of destinations in the years to come.

    “Bilateral tourism, trade and business opportunities will boom as we bring Turkish and Australian people closer and the bond between our countries gets stronger.”

    Turkish Airlines first flight to Melbourne Airport is set to arrive on Saturday, 16 March.

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