Turkish Airlines Plan To Add Six African Destinations In 2015

Turkish Airlines Plan To Add Six African Destinations In 2015

From CAPA Centre For Aviation

Turkish Airlines is planning further growth in Africa in 2015 with at least six new destinations. Turkish already has the largest network in Africa among foreign carriers, overtaking Air France and Emirates as it has added a staggering 25 African destinations over the last three years.

By the end of 2015 Turkish will have at least 45 destinations in its African network across 30 countries. North Africa continues to account for most of its African capacity but Turkish also has established a large presence in east, central and west Africa.

Turkish is able to enter relatively thin underserved African markets by offering a myriad of connections to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Narrowbody aircraft have been the driver of its African expansion strategy as it has used 737-900ERs to open up destinations as far as seven hours from Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil said on the sidelines of the 17-Dec-2014 Star Alliance executive meeting in Delhi that six of the 15 destinations the carrier plans to add in 2015 will be in Africa. This includes two unnamed destinations in Egypt, Abuja in Nigeria, Bamako in Mali, Conakry in Guinea and Juba in South Sudan.

Among the six planned new African destinations Turkish so far has only set a launch date and begun sales for Abuja, which will be served five times weekly from 3-Mar-2015 with 737-900ERs. Abuja will be Turkish’s third destination in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano.

Turkish currently serves 39 destinations in Africa across 27 countries

Turkish currently serves 39 destinations in Africa across 27 countries, according to OAG data. Bamako, Conakry and Juba will extend Turkish’s African network to 30 countries as the airline does not currently serve Mali, Guinea or South Sudan.

Turkish has not yet set launch dates for any of these routes, some of which are likely to be tagged to existing destinations, following the normal Turkish formula for expanding to thinner African markets. Conakry is also not expected to be launched until the Ebola virus, which has significantly impacted traffic in Guinea, subsides.

Turkish will be the fourth airline from outside Africa to serve Abuja, joining British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa. It will be the third non-African airline in the Bamako market after Air France and TAP Portugal. Air France and Brussels Airlines serve Conakry while flydubai is the only non-African airline serving Juba, according to OAG data.

Read more at CAPA Centre For Aviation