Turkish Airlines destinations surpass 300
Turkish Airlines launched its 301st destination to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone on February 24, 2018. The direct flights are scheduled twice a week from Istanbul, Turkey. This marks the 52 destination in Africa for the airline which serves more destinations in the continent than any other airline. Sierra Leone is the 121 country to be served by the airline.
The flights operated by Boeing 737-900 will provide a link between Atatrk International Airport and the Freetown International Airport. Other airlines operating to and from the airport include Air France, KLM and others.
The carrier already serves African city-hubs Accra, Lagos, Bamako, Conakry, Dakar, Abidjan, Cotonou, Douala, Yaounde, N’Djamena, Ougadougou, Niamey, Cape Town, Johannesburg and others. The airline has the biggest global flight network in the world. Back in December 2017, the flag carrier also became the second biggest contributor to European local traffic growth as it added 134 daily flights according to Dailysabah.
The airline reached record load factor in January, 2018 to 79.8% according to Arabnews. In addition, the number of passengers carried by Turkish rose 36.6% to 5.7 million in January. Airline’s revenue per kilometer also grew by 28.9%, according to Hurriy Daily News.
The growth marks a bounce back from political unrest and security issues that troubled the region for the past few years.
The news of the latest route is a significant step for Turkish Airlines expansion. Back in September, 2017 Turkish Airlines’ Vice President of Marketing and Sales Faith Ciğal said that the company sees itself becoming one of the world's five largest airlines by 2023 operating 500 passenger and cargo aircraft. Turkey’s flag carrier, established in 1933 with the fleet of only 5 planes now has 341 aircraft in service with 174 on order.
The flag carrier also announced a pilot recruitment campaign to meet the demand for the new route.
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