Turkish Airlines: Massive widebody expansion created network instability

Turkish Airlines A340-300

Turkish Airlines A340-300

. But, after nearly doubling its long-haul fleet to 36 aircraft from 2010, the carrier synchronized its network, he said.

“We took several measures,” Kotil said, noting that after the crisis in the Middle East/North Africa, from the first quarter on, things “did not go … as planned.”

In fact, TK reported a TRY220.6 million ($126.4 million) consolidated net loss for the second quarter, increasing its first-half loss to TRY543.6 million, owing to foreign exchange losses on financial leases related to its fleet expansion activities (ATW Daily News, Aug. 31).

At the end of June, TK operated 175 aircraft, 22 more than a year earlier.

Kotil said the number of aircraft seats has now reached 32,000, including 10,000 seats on widebodies, which “causes a marketing problem.” Load factor has dropped on long-haul routes. “Right now we have control. Transfer traffic [is] increasing month by month,” said Kotil, who noted that “2012 will be the year of repair [for] the company.”

Kotil said TK will add more narrowbodies to the fleet next year, including 15 Airbus A321/Boeing 737-900ER/737-800 aircraft, featuring individual inflight entertainment and fixed business class seats. Also, Kotil said next year the carrier will add 10 routes to Europe and 10 routes on its medium- and long-haul sectors. New routes to Australia will be deferred.

“We also need to bring our brand to a higher level,” Kotil said.

Looking forward, Kotil is expecting a drop in demand in the worldwide airline business. “A difficult year is coming. But we know how to handle a crisis and mak[e] opportunities for TK,” he said.

Source: atwonline

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