Türkiye's national airline eyes top spot in Europe

Today’s Zaman - Turkish Airlines (THY) General Manager Temel Kotil has said his company has its sights set on becoming the number-one air carrier in Europe. Speaking on Tuesday during a ceremony at Landvetter Airport in Goteborg, Sweden, to mark the commencement of flights to the city, Kotil said THY is well aware of how large the European market is, reaffirming THY’s determination to overcome the hurdles of this tough market. THY started flying from Istanbul to Goteborg on Monday with three flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Goteborg is the 7th overseas destination to be added to the THY network in 2009. "Our 117th overseas destination will be Toronto, and we want to increase the number of our destinations in Scandinavian countries as well" said Kotil. "We now aim to fly to every city in Europe, to carry passengers from these cities to Istanbul and to transport them to other destinations. We are increasing the number of connecting flights from Europe and earning a good deal with this policy" Kotil added. Kotil underlined that THY is also increasing the number of planes for long distance flights. "Formerly, we had only seven larger aircraft for long distance flights, while we have now raised this figure to 19 with recent purchases. Following a decision we took last year, we will add 19 more such aircraft to our fleet by 2012, raising the total number to 38" said Kotil. "Our next target will be Far Eastern countries" he added. THY posted a net profit of TRY 1.13 billion in 2008 as the number of passengers increased 15 percent to 22.5 million.