Turkish Airlines expects strong revenue jump from the Dubai sector, according to airline’s senior executive.
“We are targeting 53 million euros in revenue from the Dubai sector this year, strong jump from the 38 million euros accrued in 2012 on the sector,” Ayse Misirli Mirza, General Manager for Turkish Airlines in Dubai, told Gulf News in a phone interview.
Dubai, the Turkish national carrier’s strongest market in the Middle East region at present, accounted for 21.5 million euros of the airline’s global net profit in 2012, according to Mirza. “We plan to take this up to at least 29m euros this year,” she said.
Currently operating 14 weekly flights a week from Dubai, Turkish Airlines has increased seats on the Dubai route by 36 per cent in the last couple of years. “In March, for instance, the entire Dubai market did not grow more than 10 per cent. But Turkish Airlines recorded a 20 per cent growth on the sector,” said Mirza, adding that the carrier experienced 88 per cent load factor on the Dubai route in the first quarter of 2013.
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The increasing demand from Dubai led Turkish Airlines to open its new office in Dubai on Monday.
Asked if the airline planned on increasing frequency on the Dubai route, she said: “We have no plans to expand frequency on the Dubai sector at the moment. It will remain the same [14 weekly flights].”
She added that the airline’s Abu Dhabi frequency, meanwhile, has gone up to six weekly flights from the earlier four flights a week.
However, for the Middle East overall, Turkish Airlines has got strong growth plans lined up. The carrier plans to operate services to 41 destinations in the region by the end of this year, up from the current 31, said Mirza. “We are growing rapidly in the Middle East for sure.”
Turkish Airlines is eyeing the new Dubai World Central (DWC) airport for cargo operations in the future, according to Mirza. “We will be holding discussions with the airport authorities on the cargo front,” she told Gulf News.
Asked if the airline was also eyeing the move to DWC for passenger operations, she said: “Not right now. First, it will be cargo operations for us and then we will look on the passenger side. We are waiting for the infrastructure to be ready at DWC.
DWC will start passenger operations from October this year with two launch (budget) carriers — Europe’s Wizz Air and Saudi Arabia’s Nasair.
Currently operating a fleet of 215 aircraft (passenger and cargo), Turkish airlines last month placed its largest order – 117 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The carrier also plans another hefty order of 95 planes with Boeing. It said last week it has committed to buying 70 narrowbody aircraft worth $6.9 billion at list prices from Boeing by 2021, and options to buy a further 25 planes from the US planemaker between 2016 and 2021.
The airline currently operates services to 221 globally, across 98 countries.