Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Turkish fends off competition on EX-YU markets


Turkish Airlines plans to strengthen its operations to the former Yugoslavia next year in face of increasing competition from rival airlines. The carrier, which has this year shown signs of financial recovery following geopolitical and security uncertainties on its home market, is aiming to boost frequencies rather than introduce new routes. “Currently there are no plans to add new destinations, but maybe in the future. Furthermore, increasing frequencies to points in the former Yugoslavia is being evaluated. The former Yugoslav market is important for Turkish Airlines, making a contribution to the airline’s global network”, the carrier told EX-YU Aviation News. Turkish Airlines has been rapidly expanding its operations in the region and is the only carrier serving all of the capital cities within the former Yugoslavia. It has also successfully outperformed all of EX-YU's national airlines, which have, over the past three years, suspended operations to Istanbul.

The Turkish carrier noted that it has seen its passenger numbers grow on the Croatian market this year and is encouraged by the performance of its Dubrovnik flights, which were launched last year. Over the summer, the airline boosted frequencies to Dubrovnik from seven to nine per week, while Croatia Airlines began codesharing on the route. Turkish said that it continues to handle a significant number of transfer passengers to and from Croatia, primarily to the Far East and the United States. This is despite increased competition from the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways. Meanwhile, the carrier plans to add an additional two weekly services between Istanbul and Podgorica next year for a total of two daily flights.

Turkish's operations in Serbia are constricted by a stringent bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two nations, however, the carrier's General Manager for Serbia, Mehmet Alagoz, recently said, "We strongly believe in the significance of incoming tourism to Serbia. We invite tour operators to Belgrade and other parts of Serbia, encouraging them to organise group tours and we also support them to sell packages to Serbia". He added, "Turkish Cargo is an important sub-brand of Turkish Airlines. We listen to market demands and find solutions for the increasing needs of the market, as we want to be a stable partner in the countries we operate to. In 2014 Turkish Cargo launched its first scheduled freighter flight to Belgrade, and in 2016 to Niš. The launch of the Niš line is our response to the growing cargo transport demand in this region. Turkish Cargo operates to two destinations in the Balkans, both of which are in Serbia. I believe that many in the business sector will feel the positive effects from the launch of this service and that increased exports will provide a greater chance for Serbian products to access international markets".

Turkish Airlines has recently been linked to several other ventures in the region. The Macedonian government and the Turkish-run Skopje Airport have submitted a proposal for the carrier to launch transatlantic flights from the Macedonian capital, which is currently being evaluated. On the other hand, last year, the Turkish Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cihad Erginay, said Turkish Airlines is interested in launching flights to Mostar, investing in Sarajevo Airport and establishing the country's new national carrier in collaboration with the Bosnian government. However, these are yet to come to fruition. The Albanian government has also recently said it would establish a new national carrier in collaboration with Turkish Airlines.

117 comments:

  1. It is quite interesting that they have a lot of passengers from Croatia to the US. One would think most would use Lufthansa or Austrian and not backtrack to IST.

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    1. Price my friend.

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    2. Price and quality of service. I would rather fly to the US on TK's A330 or B777 than on Austrian's B763.

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    3. I'm pretty sure they have the most transfers to the US from all ex-Yu markets. My friend regularly uses TK from Chicago to Podgorica and tells me there are quite a lot of yugos on the Chicago-Istanbul leg.

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    4. Nemjee, u should give OS another try. broken seat could happen to everybody, and if the flight attendant didn't smile, ah well, everybody can have a rough day.

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    5. Lack of smiles on OS is not really an exception in my experience, especially on VIE-Balkans legs.

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    6. I stil think OS is Nr.1 in US-Balkans, with TK close 2nd and on the rise

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    7. to be honest theres lack of smiles on TK too, but we are all concentrated on the food so we forget quickly :D

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    8. That broken seat happened once so it's not a big deal. Like Tranquillis wrote above, their crew is the main issue. They are extremely rude and generally unpleasant.

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    9. I will be Flying Ljubljana - New York with TK in November. I chose TK over Lufthansa and KLM because of the price but also because I simply wanted to try them out and I don't mind spending a few more hours flying.
      Air Serbia were slightly cheaper but I flew them already so wanted to try something new :)

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    10. If you don't mind me asking, what was the fare and how did it compare over LH and JU? Thanks :)

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    11. I was once using their connecting flight via IST and never ever again.

      It was actually my worst experience with some airline.

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    12. ^ What happened?

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    13. Travelling with 2 small children to AYT via IST

      - On departure airport I got no boarding pass for both flights, only to IST. After I requested BP to be issued for both flights they told me it would happen at the gate (?!)
      - At the gate they told me that I would get BP to AYT in IST (!?). After my insisting to speak with manager they "suddenly" managed to issue BP for second flight.

      - they forgot stroller for baby at the gate - simply nobody put it on the plane to IST. Although it was later on delivered to our hotel we had to spend some time without stroller.

      - Our luggage was damaged once we finally arrived to AYT

      - on the way back the plane from AYT to IST was delayed due to bad weather in IST and we missed connecting flight from IST (it was not TK fault)

      - As there were no more flight from IST on that evening we had to spend night at the airport. There was no organized accomodation alhough they saw our family with 2 small children.
      - As we had to spend night at the airport we asked at least for our luggage as the diapers for kids were there. After 3 hours of waiting they finally concluded they cannot locate where our luggage was and threw us out of the office where we were waiting. Fortunately, we managed at midnight to find still the place at the airport to buy some diapers.

      - In the morning when we finally boarded the plane and arrived to final destination all our luggage was soaked as it was raining all night before (they didn't even bring it to the covered area but left it somewhere out)

      - Never again TK!

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    14. Sure, the fare was about 470 euros return in economy. I booked about 5 weeks in advance, so not too soon. JU was slightly cheeper, around 455 euros but there was a 7-hour stopover in Belgrade on the return flight.
      Lufthansa, KLM and Air France were all too expensive (about 800 euros) for this period but it depends... sometimes you can find pretty good prices from Air France as well.

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    15. Now I get why you would not fly them again Nebojsa. Really unpeofessional.

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  2. No wonder they dominate. Their fares are reasonable and their service is excellent.

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    1. They crushed each and every ex-Yu airline on IST flights.

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    2. Not surprising really. They have transfer pax on these routes which other ex-Yu airlines don't.

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    3. They are not so good compared to Etihad, Emirates, Qatar but they are far better than European airlines. And, yes, the have good prices and reasonable transfer times.

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  3. I think the bilateral between Serbia and Turkey limits the number of flights Turkish can have to Serbia to 2 per day (they used to have over 14 weekly flights to BEG a few years ago before the agreement was revised). I wonder if it also restricts aircraft type that can be used.

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    1. I find it pretty stupid that this is being enforced considering Air Serbia no longer flies to Istanbul.

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    2. Yes, it restricts the aircraft type as well, to max A321 or B739.

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    3. @anon 9.08 it may fly again one day so the agreement needs to be upheld.

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    4. It's about reciprocity, not the number of frequencies. If ASL decides to return to Turkey then they have to get the same number of flights that Turkish airlines operate into Serbia, 23 in winter.

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    5. Here is the agreement if anyone's interested
      http://www.parlament.gov.rs/upload/archive/files/lat/pdf/zakoni/2016/3668-15%20LAT.pdf

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    6. "Nadležni organi za vazdušni saobraćaj država strana ugovornica, pre
      uvođenja saobraćaja, zajednički utvrđuju ukupan kapacitet koji će se obezbeđivati i
      frekvencije letova koje će određeni avio-prevozioci svake strane ugovornice obavljati u ugovorenom saobraćaju. Navedeni organi mogu povremeno da razmotre i izmene prethodno utvrđeni ukupan kapacitet i frekvencije u obavljanju saobraćaja."

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    7. Well in that case and to save face, they can sign a waiver, valid for X period, at least lifting the capacity restrictions while continuing with current frequencies. That way they can promote the booming tourist arrivals into Serbia.

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    8. Ako se ne varam broj frekvencija nikada nije utvrđen dok su to uradili što se tiče kapaciteta. Na kraju krajeva ne znam šta glume i što ne potpišu sporazum o otvorenom nebu.

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    9. Slazem se sa komentarom iznad. Sada kada JU ne leti za IST ne postoji razlog da se ne potpise liberaliniji sporazum i prepusti sve trazsnoj utakmici.

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    10. Erdogan and his ministers who are currently in Serbia singed 12 bilateral agreements yesterday and another 3 are being signed today. Maybe there has been a revision of the ASA. Anyone know?

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    11. No. I looked at all the agreements they signed and air service is not one of them.

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  4. Good to hear their numbers are still growing in Croatia. I thought they would be most affected by Emirates' arrival.

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    1. I agree. Although we don't know if their numbers were affected in Zagreb. Since they now fly to Dubrovnik for the entire year this has probably improved their overall performance since they started the flights in June last year I think

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    2. Or the market has simply grown so all the can coexist.

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    3. They have reduced Zagreb to twelve per week since last winter during the winter time and they a sticking to that schedule this winter season too.

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    4. Remember that Turkish penetrated into the ex-Yu market far before Middle East airlines so they have a better starting position then Emirates, Qatar or Etihad.

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    5. Regardless of them being the first in many respects and having one of the top 5 European hubs in Istanbul going for them, it is still darn impressive how well Turkish have been withstanding the growing and quite brutal competition from the Gulf carriers, on top of the traditional ones. Not to mention that they've had to deal with the political situation in Turkey and the EU governments issuing recommendations to avoid travel to/through Turkey. All in all...well done!

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    6. Agree with Michael on this one. They have showed they have endurance against the MEB3 and other competition.

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  5. Does anyone know whether TK will be a part of the new Macedonian Airline if those promises materialise?

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    1. Even if the airline project materliazes I doubt TK would want anything to do with it. They got burnt with B&H Airlines.

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    2. I hope that *promise* never happens. We don't need another badly run state airline.

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  6. Their next destination in ex-Yu could be Tivat in my opinion.

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    1. There are not a lot of options left for them - Tivat, Split and secondary airports in Croatia. That's about it. They already serve all the capital cities.

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    2. Niš is a possibility

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    3. Mostar Airport was in talks with TK many times about flights but those talks failed on every occasion, like all talks Mostar Airport has ever held with serious airlines.

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    4. Ohrid in summer

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    5. I don't think they will be adding new routes to ex-Yu like they said in the article after all.

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    6. PEGASUS considering TIV for S18.

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  7. I recently flew with them from SKG to SFO and back from ORD. Their service is exceptional and professional, a lot of new planes, excellent IFE, Onboard wifi, excellent pilots. Plus their list of destinations is very long one, besides Australia. There are rumors that once they'll get either B787 or A350 they'll start Sydney, and surprisingly destination which is not served yet, Mexico City although they fly to Caracas/Havana nearby.

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    1. their service on ground is terrible

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    2. It seems they aren't that good as one might think
      http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/turkish-airlines/

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    3. They have been talking about Sydney for at least 10 years now. I think they have the same slot or curfew issue Qatar had for many years.

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  8. I think the bilateral is irrelevant now that JU dropped their IST flights.
    Maybe TK will consider bringing back their early afternoon flight that was suspended due to political pressure.

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    Replies
    1. How many flights did they have before that bilateral?

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    2. I think it was 17, three flights used to depart around 13.00 or 15.00. I can't remember now.

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    3. Interesting. I think that's more than Sarajevo has at the moment.

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  9. Dok prze drzavne pare ne cuje vas da protestvujete kao za AS. Sa drzvnim finansiranjem i u Unitedu bi bile mladje stjuardese.

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    1. Pa verovatno zato sto prze Turske pare, a ne nase. Makar ih prze na takav nacin da su medju najvecim prevoznicima na svetu, a Er Srbija ne moze ni 40 destinacija da odrzi.

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    2. Sa tom kolicinom novca bi AS leteo i u Juznu Ameriku i Australiju. I CA i AA i MA.

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    3. A kolika je točno ta količina novca?

      Mislim da ljudi ovdje u beskraj pretpostavljaju, nitko ne zna koliko to Turska daje para za Turkish, nema dokumenata koji potvrđuju da se daju pare, nego se samo pretpostavlja jer "nema šanse da netko ima uspješan model i da toliko raste a bez da mu država daje kamaru para". Dokazi? Hajmo dokaze u protivnom je sve to pusto i bezvezno naklapanje.

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  10. This year they have sent wide bodies on several occasions to Skopje, Pristina, Ljubljana and Podgorica :)

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    1. They have been pretty flexible with capacity. Whenever there was extra demand they were quick to upgrade their equipment.

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  11. What happened to Turkish Airlines interest in buying Croatia Airlines?

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    1. They denied those rumors.

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    2. Just as most companies. Emirates denies interest in flights to region few days later they start flights to Zagreb. Etihad denies interest in Alitalia but bought share in it. Qatar denies negotiations about Meridiana but still bought share.

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  12. Has Turkish Cargo suspended their Tuzla flights?

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    Replies
    1. I think some issues around export of frozen meat.

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  13. How many weekly flights are there between Belgrade and Istanbul now. If I'm not mistaken 3 airlines now fly this route?

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    Replies
    1. 14 weekly from Turkish Airlines, 10 weekly from Atlasglobal and 4 weekly from Pegasus. So 28 weekly flights.

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  14. The only problem I have with TK is IST airport. It's far too small, always crowded and the staff are always so rude, genuinely a place I try avoiding. It's ironic since TAV have built some far superior airports in the ex-yu countries.

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    1. +100

      Hopefully this will change when the new airport opens in Istanbul.

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    2. Completely agree. They are fine company, but their hub in IST is just awful.

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  15. Remember people last year they cut 12 weekly flights to ex-Yu.

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    1. Which cities?

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    2. Sarajevo, Pristina and Zagreb.

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  16. It amazes me how this airline is profitable at all. They seem to fly to every village in the world.

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    1. Massive diaspora and they have made IST into a huge transfer point. They were also smart to expand in Africa before the competition.

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    2. The state helped them with billions of dollars.

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    3. All of these state supported airlines will collapse sooner or later.

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    4. non-subsidized airlines colapse as well- Monarch being the latest example

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    5. Let's not forget Swissair.

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    6. Alen Šćuric PurgerOctober 12, 2017 at 8:31 AM

      And Sabena, Olympic, Spanair, bmi, Austrian, LAZ...

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  17. With the recent trouble in Turkey I think Turkish might be looking to Europe to make an investment into an airline. Perhaps a chance for Croatia Airlines or a new investment into a Bosnian national carrier?

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    1. Turkey has recovered this year. Like I said above, their only investment in this region - B&H - failed miserably. I don't think they are looking for more investments around here.

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    2. what was their story with B&H? how much they invested?

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  18. is there any conection between Onur Air and TK?
    They had some talks with TAV these days about opening IST-OHD route...

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    Replies
    1. Nope, Onur Air has no connections to Turkish Airlines.

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    2. they talked with the Ministry of Transport, not TAV

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  19. Any airline growing in the region is good news. Hope they keep increasing frequencies and destinations.

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  20. Good to see Podgorica increased. So from next summer all ex-Yu cities in their network will be two daily.

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    1. No, Dubrovnik will be 9 weekly, unless they increase it to double daily too.

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    2. Yep forgot about DBV but all the capitals will be served double daily.

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    3. Valjda mislis na sve exyu gl.gradove

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    4. why DBV not increasing to 12 weekly in S2018 when they are now (and still) operating mainly A321?

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    5. Npr...u Hrvatskoj, osim aerodroma u gl.gradu, ima jos bar 2 aerodroma s znacajnim prometom.....9 medjunarodnih ukupno.
      Tako da TK ne leti u sve gradove exyu, vec samo u sve glavne gradove i Dubrovnik.

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    6. Where did I say they fly to all cities in ex-Yu? I said they will fly twice daily to all the cities they serve in ex-Yu next summer and then someone corrected me that they also fly to DBV.

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  21. Anyone know or care to guess how many passengers they carry on an annual basis from/to ex-Yu?

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    1. Q1-Q3 2017 they handled 123,695 passengers from and to Skopje.

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    2. Around a million I would assume.

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  22. Considering they have expressed interest in many ventures like Macedonian national airline, Macedonian TATL flights, Bosnian national airline, Albanian national airline, possible Croatia Airlines acquisition, I think it is safe to say they are interested in doing something in this region and are waiting for the right moment.

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    1. They were approached for all of those and all they have said that they will "consider it". Basically they brushed them off.

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  23. I really hope they will consider transatlantic flights from an ex-Yu country soon. Istanbul-Zagreb-New York would be fantastic!

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  24. They seem to be doing well on all markets. News from yesterday

    Turkey's national flag carrier carried 6.9 percent more passengers in the first nine months of 2017 compared to last year, setting a new record, the airline announced Monday.

    Turkish Airlines carried 51.6 million passengers in January-September 2017, the company said in a statement.

    Over the same period, the airlines' total passenger load factor, which is an airline industry metric that measures how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used, rose by 4.3 points to 79 percent.

    The carrier carried 6.7 million passengers in September, up 13 percent compared to the same month last year.

    In September, the company's total passenger load factor climbed 5.7 points to 81.5 percent.

    The airline said the highest increases last month were seen in its North America and Far East regions, of 10.3 and 6.3 percent, respectively.

    Turkish Airlines earned $4.6 billion in total revenues in the first half of 2017, flying to 301 destinations in 120 countries.

    Last year, Turkish Airlines carried 62.8 million passengers, up 2.5 percent from 61.2 million passengers in 2015.

    As of Monday, Turkish Airlines has a nearly $3.19 billion market value, based on stock exchange market figures.

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  25. They recently ordered B787. I wonder if we will see them deployed on some European routes.

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  26. Any chance for any ex-Yu city to be permanently upgraded to an A330, at least during the summer?

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  27. There are rumors that Turkish president will help opening KVO airport, "with Istanbul as a first destination". He is in Novi Pazar right now, and looks like that's one of their requirements.

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    1. I believe Turkey has already invested some money in KVO but then Velimir Ilic stopped whole project.

      If KVO gets opened it is logical first flight to be to IST

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    2. I hope so.
      Someone mentioned here that LYKV can't handle heavier aircrafts, limiting it to turboprops only.

      Ideally, with flights to Vienna (OS) and Istanbul, alternating days, LYKV would have a great combination of frequencies and connectivity.

      my2cents

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  28. TK is a great airline!!! They are especially great in hull loss.

    https://www.aeroinside.com/incidents/airline/thy

    I wonder why they don't have more people flying with them. Oh yes, but they are cheap. Too cheap for my taste. LH or OS anytime.

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    1. You know, there is a way to enjoy LH, OS or any other airline without spreading bitter hate all around. All you need is to take a breath and chill out a bit.

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    2. I know. I am much more chilled out since I am not working for TK anymore. And that was not a bitter hate. That was just a warning. This company is so bad you can not even imagine.

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