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IATA AGM 2013: Turkish Airlines looks to serve Sydney via Bangkok

6-Jun-2013 6:33 PM

Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil told (03-Jun-2013) CAPA on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting in Cape Town that the carrier is looking to enter the Australia market in 2014, most likely with an Istanbul-Bangkok-Sydney route. Turkish previously looked at launching Sydney from Jakarta, which it currently serves via Singapore. But Mr Kotil says it is now more likely Turkish will tag Sydney with Bangkok. Turkish currently operates 11 weekly flights to Bangkok with seven of the flights continuing onto Ho Chi Minh City, according to Innovata data. The other four weekly flights could potentially be extended to Sydney. Mr Kotil says Turkish is not currently considering nonstop flights to Australia as such ultra-long-range flights are inefficient and would require a new aircraft type such as the 777-200LR. Mr Kotil says Turkish for now is only looking at serving one Australian destination, Sydney, as the current Turkey-Australia bilateral only allows for up to five weekly flights for Turkish carriers. He says Turkish authorities have asked Australian authorities to negotiate an expanded bilateral between the two countries. The Bangkok-Sydney route is currently served by Thai Airways, Qantas and Emirates.