- Özgür Töre
The global aviation sector left behind two years of its biggest crisis in history. During this difficult time, Turkish Airlines finished the first quarter of 2022 at 163 million USD real operating profit and 161 million USD net profit despite the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and increasing geopolitical tension.
The total revenue of Turkish Airlines during the first quarter of 2022 was 3.1 billion USD, surpassing the same period in 2019 by 10%. As for the cargo revenue which is 32% of the total revenue, it recorded a 141% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
Despite all the difficulties effecting the demand caused by COVID-19, the flag carrier managed to recover earlier than its competitors in passenger transport while strengthening its cargo operations compared to its pre-pandemic state. Despite the increasing oil prices, the global carrier managed to record a net profit by lowering its total expenditures by 2 percent compared to the same period in 2019 with cost saving measures. As a result, EBITAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization, and rent), which shows the cash generation potential of the company, was at 710 million USD, a 98% increase compared to the same period in 2019. The EBITAR margin increased by 10.3 points compared to last year and became 23.3%.
During the first quarter of 2022, which saw the global carrier reaching 91% of its Q1 2019 passenger capacity, Turkish Airlines carried a total of 12.7 million passengers with a 83.6% load factor for domestic flights and 68.6% percent load factor for international flights. Turkish Airlines strengthened its identity as a global airline during these difficult times with its wide flight network, strong frequencies, and superior hygiene standards. As of the end of March 2022, the flag carrier possesses one of the world’s youngest and most modern fleets with 372 aircrafts, with 248 of them narrow-body and 104 of them wide-body, along with 20 cargo aircrafts.
As Europe’s leader in terms of flights operate and network carrier during 2021, Turkish Airlines maintained its leading position during the first quarter of 2022 among the European network carriers. By turning crisis into opportunity during the pandemic, the global carrier became the fifth biggest air cargo carrier in the world in the cargo market according to February 2022 data. Moving to SMARTIST, its new cargo operations centre built with high technological features in İstanbul Airport in February 2022, Turkish Cargo is aiming to further enhance its position among the leading air cargo brands of the world at its new home.
Employing over 60 thousand people combined with its subsidiaries, Turkish Airlines continues to proudly fly its flag amongst the giants of air transportation as the brand that steers its sector with its unparalleled flight network, modern fleet, outstanding cargo performance and successful crisis management. With the end of the pandemic and consequent rise of the aviation sector, the flag carrier airline will increase its pace towards the summit of the sector and will continue to produce added value for our country and aviation sector with an effort greater than any before.