Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil, who has been named as Turkey’s best performing CEO by Harvard Business Review Turkey, answered questions of ftnNEWS.
ftnNEWS: What can you tell us about Turkish Airlines’ network strategy today? Can you name us some of your new routes for 2016?
Turkish Airlines has an extensive global network. We are flying to more international destinations than any other airline in the world. We have 236 international destinations and 49 domestic destinations in 113 countries. We have 109 European airports in our network which are feeding our Middle Eastern, Africa and Asia routes. We have been offering largest number of origin destination choices for our passengers flying to Africa, Middle East and Europe. We fly to 48 airports in Africa, 34 in Middle East and 34 in Asia. We differentiate ourself among other carriers with the strength of our network. This extensive network is planned to feed transfer and local passengers. We will continue to add new destinations to our network that will improve our transfer and local passenger numbers. We will have new destinations in Americas and Asia: Atlanta, Bogota, Panama, Hanoi are some of our destinations that will be open in the following months. Dubrovnik is also in the list. We also continue to add new frequencies to our current destinations through SAW hub to strengthen our network also from there.
ftnNEWS: What makes Turkish Airlines different than other carriers? What would you like to say to travelers that never fly with Turkish Airlines before?
Turkish Airlines makes the whole world more accessible for its passengers by flying to largest number of international destinations and also countries in the world. In recognition of this significant feature, we have adopted a new branding that emphasizes our global reach: “Widen Your World”, and which emphasizes Istanbul’ linking character/ its unique position between two continents. Our new brand strategy aims to develop new applications at each phase of the travel to offer memorable surprises to our passengers and to bring them together with international innovation and distinctive services to make them feel special and cherished.
Our passengers’ satisfaction and their trust in our brand are the backbone of our growth and also the primary success and a core value of our Company. As a result of our continuous efforts to serve our passengers at best in order to ensure their satisfaction and win their trust, we have been awarded the Skytrax awards for Europe’s Best Airline for the fifth time in a row. The awards were based on the results of over 18 million passenger surveys, with more than 105 nationalities participating and covering 245 airlines. We also have been awarded World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge and World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining awards for the second time in a row. These awards are clear indications of our consistent high quality of our products.
ftnNEWS: The first phase of Istanbul’s third airport with a capacity of 90 million passengers is expected to open in the first quarter of 2018. What are your goals as Turkish Airlines with the opening of the third airport?
We have been closely following the developments of the new airport. Since the new airport will certainly meet our growing needs, we have been relying upon the new airport to further improve our passenger satisfaction and efficiency of our operations. We will have state of the art facilities there that would improve our service quality further. With this new airport, we will be able to further speed up the growth of Istanbul hub as a high quality and seamless transfer point.
ftnNEWS: Many of world’s leading airlines offer private/executive jet service. What about Turkish Airlines? Do you find this market profitable?
This is a different business model, in short term we are not planning to invest in such operations.