Taipei-Istanbul route ca­pac­ity upped from Oct.

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS -

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.

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