SunExpress Increases Capacity to 7 Million Seats to Turkey from Europe
- Özgür Töre
Celebrating its 30th year in aviation and tourism this year, SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, achieved the highest revenue in its history in 2019, setting a new record.
SunExpress grew by 10% in 2019, compared to the previous year and generated a revenue of over 1.4 billion euros. SunExpress welcomed over 10 million passengers on board in 2019 and the load factor was 83%.
SunExpress CEO Jens Bischof, speaking at the press conference organized in Istanbul on February 18th, stated that SunExpress continued its steady growth with its strong financial structure for three years in a row. “In 2019, we achieved the highest revenue in our history with over 1.4 billion Euros in 2019, a growth of 10 % compared to the previous year. We welcomed over 10 million passengers in 2019. With our strong financial structure and expertise as a leisure carrier, we will continue to be the backbone of air travel for the Turkish tourism industry in 2020.”
7 million seats between Europe and Turkey
With the vision of creating an air bridge between Turkey and Europe, SunExpress offers a record capacity of 7 million seats between Europe and Turkey in 2020 summer. Bischof said, “We are the airline carrying the highest number of tourists to the Mediterranean and Aegean regions with scheduled flights. In addition, we directly connect a record number of Anatolian cities to Europe. This summer, we will operate scheduled direct flights to 39 destinations in Europe from 17 cities in Turkey.”
Record seat capacity to Antalya; 2 new routes
SunExpress, which connects Antalya with the most international destinations with direct scheduled flights, is now offering the highest number of seats in the company’s history to Antalya. As Turkey’s tourism capital and SunExpress’ home base, Antalya will be served with over 4.5 million seats for both domestic and international market during the summer of 2020.
SunExpress, which begins flying from Antalya to Bremen and to Marseille this summer for the first time, will offer an increase in frequency from many destinations on the Antalya to Europe flight network. The airline will increase weekly flights to Budapest to six, Vienna to five, Brussels to four, Prague and Paris to three, and Lyon to two. During the summer of 2020, SunExpress will connect Antalya to 8 domestic destinations and 43 international destinations.
Giving information about their hangar investment in Antalya, Bischof said, “As one of the largest companies and biggest employers in Antalya, we are making a significant investment in our maintenance and repair center, which we expect to be operational by the end of 2021. The project will be a first in Antalya and the center will initially serve SunExpress aircraft and then will start serving other airlines later.”
3.1 million seats to Izmir; 5 new routes
This summer SunExpress continues to strengthen its position in Izmir by offering 1.9 million seats from Europe to Izmir.
SunExpress, the airline that connects Izmir to the highest number of destinations with scheduled and direct flights on international routes, is adding five new destinations in this summer season to its flight network: Milan, Ercan (Cyprus), Budapest, Prague and Skopje. SunExpress offers three daily flights from Izmir to Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich, increasing Paris flights to five per week, London flights to three per week and Dublin flights to two per week. SunExpress will connect Izmir to 13 cities on domestic routes and 38 destinations on international routes this year.
From 13 Anatolian cities to 17 European cities
Bischof highlighted: “Initially, our Anatolian flights were introduced in 2010 for the purpose of facilitating mutual family visits by Turks living in Europe. Since then, these direct scheduled Anatolian flights have continued and become SunExpress’ fastest-growing market. We now offer almost 1 million seats from 13 Anatolian cities to 17 European cities with direct scheduled flights. This summer SunExpress will start flying from Adana to Hamburg, Vienna and Brussels, from Balıkesir (Edremit) and Eskişehir to Düsseldorf, from Malatya to Frankfurt, and from Konya to Helsinki.
2020 is set to be a year of records for Turkish tourism
Bischof stated: “We have proven once again that we are a very important part of Turkish tourism with our flights between Turkey and Europe. We predicted that 2019 would be a record year for Turkish tourism, and so it was. SunExpress is the world’s fifth best leisure airline and Turkey’s best leisure airline, and this record capacity increase by the airline for 2020 is a reflection of a new record forecast in Turkish tourism.”
At the end of the meeting, Jens Bischof, the outgoing CEO of SunExpress, said that he will take over as CEO of Eurowings on March 1 and introduced Dr. Max Kownatzki as the new CEO of SunExpress from April 15. Deputy CEO Ahmet Çalışkan and Deputy CEO of SunExpress Deutschland Alper Özen also presented a gift to Jens Bischof.