Taipei-Istanbul route capacity upped from Oct.
Turkish Airlines will increase the seating capacity on its TaipeiIstanbul route from late October when it introduces larger aircraft on its daily flights between the two cities, an official from the airline said Wednesday.
“We will change the aircraft from the Airbus A340 to the Boeing 777 on Oct. 28,” which will increase the seating capacity by around 33 percent, Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmustur told reporters on the sidelines of a banquet in Taipei to mark the carrier’s launch of the first direct flight between Taiwan and Turkey the previous day.
“Taipei has big potential. ( It) is one of the biggest destinations in the Far East, so we do have an opportunity to start here,” Olmustur said.
Around 40,000 passengers traveled to Turkey from Taiwan last year and Olmustur said he expects that number to increase with the launch of the direct flights.
He added that his airline is not expecting a “huge profit” in the initial stage and is more focused on familiarizing people with the route.
As for possible cooperation with EVA Airways, Taiwan’s secondlargest carrier, Olmustur said talks are ongoing and that the two sides could sign an agreement in the next two to three weeks.
He said the two airlines will cooperate on codesharing, but officials from both sides are still working out the destinations they would like to share and would “need some time to decide.”
Beginning Tuesday, Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Turkey, began operating direct daily flights between Taipei and Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines flight TK24 arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Tuesday. The Airbus A340-300, with 34 businessclass seats and 236 economy-class seats, carried 270 passengers.
Non-direct flights between Taipei and Istanbul take some 14-16 hours, with stopovers in cities like Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Singapore. The direct flights shorten the flight time by around two to four hours.
“The long standing wish for direct flights between Taiwan and Turkey finally came true yesterday, raising our bilateral relations to new heights,” Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko ( ) said at the banquet.