Turkish Airlines registered a net profit of 4.4 billion liras ($233 million) in the first quarter of 2023, led by a strong recovery in international demand, notwithstanding the adverse effects of the devastating twin earthquakes that struck Türkiye in February.
It marked the seventh consecutive quarter that the national flag carrier posted a net profit after the air travel sector was hit hard in 2020, when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt in earnest.
The airline saw record-high first-quarter revenue in the January-March period, reaching 82.1 billion liras ($4.4 billion), up 43% year-on-year.
Accounting for 84% of total revenue, passenger revenue rose by 83% to $3.6 billion.
Turkish Airlines increased the number of its fleet and workforce by 10% compared to last year.
It carried over 17 million passengers in the three months to March, with a load factor of 80.1% on domestic routes and 81.4% on international routes.
The airline’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent (EBITDAR) totaled $770 million on the backing of strong revenue growth, it said.
On Feb. 6, more than 50,000 people were killed when magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes struck southern and southeastern Turkish provinces.
In February and March, the airline evacuated 430,000 earthquake victims from Türkiye’s quake-hit southern region and delivered 29,000 tons of aid materials.
Turkish Airlines currently has 414 aircraft and flies to 343 destinations – 290 international and 53 domestic. (AA)