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Turkish Airlines Cargo

Turkish Airlines
Türk Hava Yolları A.O.
Founded 20 May 1933
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Miles&Smiles
Airport lounge Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
  • Anadolujet
  • Sunexpress
  • TGS Yer Hizmetleri A.Ş.
  • THY OPET Havacılık Yakıtları A.Ş.
  • THY Teknik A.Ş.
  • THY DO&CO İkram Hizmetleri A.Ş.
Fleet size 233
Destinations 238
Company slogan Globally Yours
Headquarters Atatürk International Airport,
Yeşilköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Key people
Revenue Increase 14.91 billion (2012)[1]
Operating income Increase 1.6 billion (2012)[2]
Net income Increase 1.13 billion (2012)[1]
Total assets Increase 18.78 billion (2012)[2]
Total equity Increase 5.41 billion (2012)[2]
Employees 15,857 (2012)[1]

THY Turkish Airlines (Turkish: Türk Hava Yolları) () is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered at the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakırköy, Istanbul.[3][4] THY operates scheduled services to 40 domestic and 198 international airports in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas as of September 2013, including two cargo-only airports in Mitiga, Libya and Maastricht, Netherlands. With 238 destinations, the airline is the fourth-largest carrier in the world by number of destinations.[5] With Atatürk International Airport being the main base, the Turkish carrier has secondary hubs at Esenboğa International Airport, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, and Adnan Menderes Airport. THY has been a member of the Star Alliance network since 1 April 2008.[6]

In April 2010, "TURKISH" replaced "TURKAIR" as the new call sign for Turkish Airlines.

With an operational fleet of 11 cargo aircraft, the airline's cargo division serves 47 destinations. In 2012, more than 470,000 tons of cargo and mail have been carried.[7]


Early years

Turkish Airlines was formed on 20 May 1933 as State Airlines Administration (Turkish: Devlet Hava Yolları), as a department of the Ministry of Defence.[8] The fleet consisted of a five-seat Curtiss Kingbird, two four-seat Junkers F-13s and one ten-seat Tupolev ANT-9.[8] In 1935, the airline was turned over to the Ministry of Public Works and was subsequently renamed General Directorate of State Airlines. Three years later, in 1938, it became part of the Ministry of Transportation.[9]

Postwar Period

The airline began international services with the inauguration of AnkaraIstanbulAthens flights in 1947, two years after a substantial amount of Douglas DC-3s and Douglas C-47s joined the fleet, which enabled the carrier to expand its network.[8]

Nicosia, Beirut and Cairo have soon been added to the airline's international flight destinations. However, domestic services remained the Turkish carrier's main focus until the early 1960s.[10]

In 1956, the Turkish government reorganized the airline under the name Türk Hava Yollari A.O. (often abbreviated as THY).[8] It was capitalized at TRL 60 million. The airline joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shortly thereafter. In 1957, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) began supplying technical support after acquiring a 6.5 percent shareholding, which it held for about 20 years.[10]

New aircraft including Vickers Viscounts, Fokker F27s and Douglas DC-3s were added to the fleet in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Turkish Airlines began operating their first jet, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, in 1967. This was followed by the addition of three Boeing 707 jets in 1971. Other aircraft operated in the early 1970s included the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and the Fokker F28 which were put into service in 1972 and 1973 respectively.[8][10]

1980s and 1990s

The airline was plagued by several difficult issues. They developed a reputation for poor customer service and delays. They also endured hijackings and suffered seven accidents between 1974 and 1983. The most notorious came in 1974, when a DC-10 crashed shortly after take-off near Ermenonville, France, resulting in the deaths of 346 people.

A new government came to power in 1983 which recognized THY's importance as Turkey's ambassador to the world, beginning the airline's makeover into a modern operation. They would maintain one of the youngest fleets in the world. Security was intensified, causing one shipper to compare it to Israel's El Al, at least in terms of delays.[10]

THY built a new, state-of-the-art technical center at Yeşilköy Airport in 1984. The airline was capable of both light and heavy maintenance on a number of different aircraft types. Technical staff then made up one-quarter of the airline's 6,000 employees, according to Air Transport World. In 1984, the company's capital was raised to TRL 60 billion as it was classified as a state economic enterprise. Three years later, the capital was raised again, to TL150 billion.

By the mid-1980s, THY had a fleet of 30 aircraft. They were flying about three million passengers a year to 16 domestic destinations and three dozen international ones. The airline was Turkey's largest source of foreign currency. Turkish Airlines began operating Airbus 310s in 1985, allowing the addition of flights to Singapore in 1986. A route to New York via Brussels was added in 1988.

The company posted losses in 1987 and 1988, largely due to high payments on its dozen new Airbus A310s, according to Air Transport World. The fleet also included 11 Boeing 727s and nine Douglas DC-9s. THY ended the decade with 8,500 employees.[10]

The company suffered in the global aviation crisis following the Persian Gulf War and would not break even again until 1994. However, business was again booming in the mid-1990s, with the greatest growth coming from North American destinations. THY launched a nonstop flight to New York in July 1994.

The company's capital continued to be raised, reaching TRL 10 trillion in 1995. During that year, the airline also converted three of their Boeing 727s to dedicated freighters. The DC-9s had been sold off. The company posted a $6 million profit on revenues of $1 billion for the year. While profitable, THY had to contend with Turkey's exorbitant inflation, making capital improvements difficult.

The domestic market was deregulated in 1996, allowing new scheduled competition from charter airlines. At the same time, larger international carriers were providing stiff competition on routes to Western Europe. THY entered into marketing agreements with other international airlines to enhance their competitiveness. The company teamed with Japan Airlines to offer service to Osaka and Tokyo in 1997 and 1998. Other jointly operated flights soon followed with Austrian Airlines, Swissair, and Croatian Airlines.[10]


A new terminal opened for the airline in January 2000 at Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport. Turkish Airlines continued to extend their international reach, forging marketing agreements with Asiana Airlines, American Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Czech Airlines and Cathay Pacific in 2000. An Antalya-Frankfurt route was added in 2001 through a code-sharing agreement with Sun Express. However, THY withdrew from the Swissair-led Qualiflyer alliance in order to help attract a strategic investor for their privatization.[10]

Turkey underwent an economic crisis throughout most of 2001, cutting traffic on domestic routes in particular. THY managed to survive after the September 11 attacks on the United States without a government bailout or mass layoffs, although 300 middle management positions were eliminated, 400 part-timers were laid off and wages were cut 10 percent. Turkish Daily News credited the airline's survival to entrepreneurial management, which was quick to get rid of loss-making routes at home and abroad.

In 2003, the war in Iraq prompted Turkish Airlines to close some routes in the Persian Gulf, while flights to Asia were suspended during the SARS epidemic. However, the airline soon recovered, increasing traffic on existing routes and adding service to Delhi after an 11-year lapse.

Another fleet expansion program kicked off in 2004, helping THY maintain one of the youngest fleets in Europe. In July, the airline announced a massive $2.8 billion order of 36 jets from Airbus, plus an order for 15 Boeing 737s.

THY was not just ordering new planes. They were planning to spend $350 million on a new technical and training facility at Istanbul's underutilized Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The airline had built up a significant technical services operation, maintaining not just their own aircraft but those of third parties. Turkish Technic employed 2,700 and was planning to hire another 2,000 by 2010. THY also had three flight simulators and offered flight training services.

THY faced the entry of new competitors into the liberalizing Turkish aviation market. However, tourism was booming, with 20 million people expected to visit the country in 2005 versus 12 million in 2003. THY divested its 50% holding in Cyprus Turkish Airlines (Kibris Turk Hava Yollari) in 2005.

Although the company was publicly traded at this time, the government owned 98% of its shares. The privatization program was revived in 2004 with a public offering of 20% of shares on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. The Turkish government owned 75% of shares after the offering, which raised $170 million. Currently, the Republic of Turkey's Prime Ministry Privatization Administration owns a 49.12% interest in THY, while 50.88% of shares are publicly traded.[12]

On 1 April 2008, Turkish Airlines joined the Star Alliance after an 18-month integration process beginning in December 2006, becoming the seventh European airline in the 20-member alliance.[13]

In December 2011, the Turkish government unveiled plans to modernize the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu, Somalia, which became one of the newest flight destinations of the carrier in 2012. The rehabilitation project is part of Turkey's broader engagement in the local post-conflict reconstruction process. Among the scheduled renovations are new airport systems and infrastructure, including a modern control tower to monitor the airspace.[14] In March 2012, Turkish Airlines became the first international carrier to resume flights to Somalia since the start of that country's civil war in the early 1990s.

By the end of 2012, Turkish Airlines upgraded the number of flight points to 189 destinations (149 international and 40 domestic) worldwide.[15]


As of September 2013, Turkish Airlines flies to over 230 destinations in more than 100 countries across four continents.[5][16]

Codeshare agreements

As of October 2013, Turkish Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[17]


As of August 2013, the Turkish Airlines fleet consists of 222 passenger and 11 cargo aircraft with an average age of 6.4 years.[28][29]

Turkish Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
C Y+ Y Total
Airbus A319-100 14 12 114 126
Airbus A320-200 33 2 12 141 153
Airbus A320neo 4 TBA Deliveries 2015 - 2020[30]
Airbus A321-200 41 29 12 176 188 Deliveries until 2020[30]
Airbus A321neo 53 35 TBA Deliveries 2015 - 2020[30]
Airbus A330-200 8 22 228 250 1 wet-leased from Meridiana
Airbus A330-300 10 20[31] 28 261 289 New deliveries: 6 in 2014, 9 in 2015 and 5 in 2016[32][33]
Airbus A340-300 7 34 236 270 To be replaced by Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER by the end of 2016
Boeing 737-700 14 149 149 10 operated by AnadoluJet
Boeing 737-800 70 31[34] 12 153 165 12 operated by AnadoluJet, older aircraft to be replaced by Boeing 737 MAX 8
Boeing 737-900ER 10 5 16 135 151
Boeing 737 MAX 8 40[34] 25 TBA Deliveries 2016 - 2021
Boeing 737 MAX 9 10[34] TBA Deliveries 2016 - 2021
Boeing 777-300ER 15 20[35] 28 63 246 337 3 wet-leased from Jet Airways, New deliveries: 3 in 2014, 7 in 2015, 7 in 2016, 3 2017
Turkish Airlines Cargo Fleet
Airbus A310-300F 4
1 wet-leased from ULS Airlines Cargo
Airbus A330-200F 7 1
1 wet-leased from MNG Cargo Airlines and 1 wet-leased from MASkargo
Total 233 215 60


The airline's "Eurowhite" livery is a white fuselage with blue lettering, a grey tulip on the fuselage running from the rear of the wing to the tail, and a red tail with the company logo in a white circle.

In the past, the airplanes were painted white on the top with four red stripes going across the fuselage and the tail white with a red center that included the emblem; instead of a white emblem with a red circle for a background, the emblem was red with a white circle. The bellies of the planes had an aluminum finish, while the nose was black, and text on the plane read "THY Türk Hava Yolları-Turkish Airlines" on the left side; on the right the concept was the same with different text reading "Türk Hava Yolları-Turkish Airlines THY".

The logo on the fin has been modified; the emblem is now white and on a red background, while it was formerly red and on a white background.

The inscription "Turkish" has been replaced by "Turkish Airlines" on the front-left and front-right sides of the fuselage.

The "Eurowhite" livery (a white fuselage with blue lettering) and a grey tulip figure on the fuselage (running from the rear of the wing to the tail) have remained the same.

Operational Performance

The following table represents Turkish Airlines' operational performance from 2006 onwards.

Year Passengers carried Growth Sales Revenue (bn)
2006 16,947,000 0 0381 3.81
2007 19,636,000 Increase 15915.9% 0452 4.52
2008 22,597,000 Increase 15115.1% 0612 6.12
2009 25,102,000 Increase 11111.1% 0704 7.04
2010 29,119,000 Increase 16016.0% 0842 8.42
2011 32,648,000 Increase 12112.1% 1182 11.82
2012 39,045,000 Increase 19619.6% 1491 14.91


Affinity programmes

Miles&Smiles is the frequent-flyer programme of Turkish Airlines, inaugurated in 2000 after the airline left Qualiflyer.[39] Earned miles can be used on Turkish Airlines' flights, as well as on flights operated by Lufthansa, including the entire Star Alliance network. Miles&Smiles Classic Plus card holders are entitled to the same benefits of Star Alliance Silver card members. Elite and Elite Plus Miles&Smiles cards entitle the owner to the same benefits as Star Alliance Gold users.[40]

Sponsorship and promotion agreements

Turkish Airlines was chosen as the official carrier by Europe's leading football clubs such as Borussia Dortmund,[42] Olympique de Marseille[43] and Aston Villa.[44]

The airline has also made sponsorship and promotion deals with renowned athletes and actors, including:[45] Lionel Messi,[46] Kobe Bryant,[46] Caroline Wozniacki,[47] Kevin Costner [48] and Wayne Rooney.[48]

Furthermore, the company is the primary sponsor of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague since 2010[49] and was among the sponsors of the 2010 FIBA World Championship.[50]

On 22 Ocotber 2013, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague signed an agreement to prolong their existing sponsorship deal by five years until 2020.[51]


Turkish Airlines has thrice won the Skytrax awards for Europe's Best Airline, Southern Europe's Best Airline, and the World's Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013.[52][53] Additionally, Turkish Airlines has been selected the Airline of the Year by Air Transport News at the 2013 Air Transport News Awards Ceremony.[54]

Turkish Airlines Flight Academy

Turkish Airlines Flight Academy was established by the 28th THY Board on 10 November 2004, and started training with 16 cadets on 1 May 2006. The Flight Academy is based at Atatürk International Airport and uses the nearby Çorlu Airport for training activities.[55][56]

The fleet of the flight academy consists of the following 14 aircraft:

Turkish Airlines Maintenance Center

Turkish Airlines has a maintenance centre at its hub Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul. Turkish Airlines Maintenance Center (Turkish Technic) is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of THY's and third party aircraft, including airframe, landing gear, APU and components.[57]

Turkish Technic has opened a new engine centre in partnership with Pratt & Whitney at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. The facility provides engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to customers worldwide.[58] Furthermore, a project named HABOM (Turkish: Havacılık Bakım Onarım ve Modifikasyon Merkezi), an Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center, is under construction at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.[59]

Incidents and accidents

Below is a list of incidents and accidents involving aircraft operated by Turkish Airlines bewteen 1959 and 2009. There were 14 fatal accidents resulting in the deaths of 899 people in total. The most remarkable occurred in 1974 when a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport, France, claiming the lives of all 346 people on board. To date, this is the second-deadliest single-aircraft accident in the world.

Turkish Airlines Reported Incidents and Accidents
Date Flight Aircraft Registration Location Description Fatalities
17 February 1959
Vickers Viscount Type 793
United Kingdom London A Vickers Viscount Type 793 crashed in heavy fog just before landing at London Gatwick Airport. The charter flight was carrying Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and a governmental delegation to London for signing the Zürich and London Agreements on the Cyprus issue. Nine of the sixteen passengers and five of the eight crew lost their lives. Menderes, sitting in the back part of the aircraft, survived the accident almost uninjured.[60]
23 September 1961
Fokker F27-100
Turkey Ankara Flight 100, a Fokker F27-100, crashed at Karanlıktepe on approach to Esenboğa International Airport, Ankara. All of the 4 crew and 24 of the 25 passengers on board lost their lives.[61]
8 March 1962
Fairchild F-27
Turkey Adana A Fairchild F-27 crashed at Taurus Mountains on approach to Adana Şakirpaşa Airport. All three crew and all eight passengers on board were killed.[62]
3 February 1964
Douglas C-47
Turkey Ankara A Douglas C-47A performing a domestic cargo flight flew into terrain in Ankara whilst on approach to Esenboğa International Airport. All 3 crew members on board were killed.[63]
2 February 1969
Vickers Viscount Type 794
Turkey Ankara A Vickers Viscount Type 794 crashed on approach to Esenboğa International Airport, Ankara. There were no casualties.[64]
26 January 1974
Fokker F28-1000
Turkey Izmir A Fokker F28-1000, named Van, on a scheduled domestic flight from Izmir Cumaovası Airport to Istanbul Yeşilköy Airport crashed shortly after takeoff due to atmospheric icing on the wings. The aircraft disintegrated and caught fire killing 4 of the 5 crew and 62 of the 68 passengers on board.[65]
3 March 1974
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
France Fontaine-Chaalis, Oise Flight 981, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashed into Ermenonville Forest, France due to explosive decompression, killing all 346 people aboard. The main cause was a design fault on the cargo doors of DC-10 aircraft. Prior to the Tenerife airport disaster, it was the deadliest aircraft disaster in the world.[66][67]
30 January 1975
Fokker F28-1000
Turkey Istanbul Flight 345, a Fokker F28-1000 named Bursa, on a scheduled domestic flight from Izmir Cumaovası Airport to Istanbul Yeşilköy Airport crashed into the Sea of Marmara during final approach to its destination airport. All 4 crew and 38 passengers on board the aircraft were killed.[68]
19 September 1976
Boeing 727
Turkey Isparta Flight 452, a Boeing 727-200, named Antalya, on a domestic flight from Istanbul Yeşilköy Airport to Antalya Airport struck high ground in Karatepe Mountains during an attempted landing in Isparta instead of Antalya by pilot error. All the 8 crew and 146 passeners on board were killed.[69]
23 December 1979
Fokker F28-1000
Turkey Ankara A Fokker F28 Fellowship 1000, named Trabzon, on a scheduled domestic flight from Samsun-Çarşamba Airport to Esenboğa International Airport struck a hill in Kuyumcuköy village at Çubuk, Ankara 32 km (20 mi) north-east of its destination airport in severe turbulence. Three of the four crew and 38 of the 41 passengers on board were killed.[70]
16 January 1983
Boeing 727
Turkey Ankara Flight 158, a Boeing 727-200, named Afyon, landed about 50 m (160 ft) short of the runway at Esenboğa International Airport in driving snow, broke up and caught fire. All of the 7 crew survived, however, of the 60 passengers on board, 47 were killed.[71]
29 December 1994
Boeing 737
Turkey Van Flight 278, a Boeing 737-400, named Mersin, crashed during its final approach to Van Ferit Melen Airport in driving snow. Five of the seven crew and 52 of the 69 passengers died.[72]
7 April 1999
Boeing 737
Turkey Ceyhan Flight 5904, a Boeing 737-400, named Trakya, on a repositioning flight crashed in Ceyhan, Adana shortly after taking off from Adana Şakirpaşa Airport. There were no passengers on board, but all six crew members perished.[73]
8 January 2003
Avro RJ-100
Turkey Diyarbakır Flight 634, an Avro RJ-100, named Konya, crashed while on a VOR/DME approach to runway 34 at Diyarbakır Airport, Turkey. Of the 80 people on board, 75 were killed.[74]
25 February 2009
Boeing 737
Netherlands Amsterdam Flight 1951, a Boeing 737-800, named Tekirdağ, carrying 135 passengers, crashed while approaching Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Nine people including the three pilots died. 86 passengers were transported to local hospitals. The preliminary results of the Dutch investigation found that a faulty altimeter caused the aircraft to throttle the engines back to idle and that the crew failed to react quickly enough which resulted in a stall and the subsequent crash.[75][76][77][78]

See also

Turkey portal
Istanbul portal
Companies portal
Aviation portal


External links

  • Official website
  • "Legends on board: Kobe vs Messi" (Turkish Airlines publicity video)
  • Skylife
  • Anadolujet (Regional low-cost carrier of THY)
  • SunExpress (Joint venture with Lufthansa)
  • Turkish Technic Official Website
  • THY Flight Academy

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