A regular source at the Turkish Airlines Kampala office has confirmed that travelers from Uganda, in fact applying to the other East African destinations of Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Kigali too, will until the 16th September add a third daily flights between Istanbul and New Yorks JFK, in view of growing demand for seats on the route.
The three flights operate using the B777 and A330 aircraft.
The same source also mentioned that Houston will join the airlines growing global network.
Turkish has in an almost clandestine way, without the fuss and publicity seen by other airlines, made its way into the top league of global carriers, now flying 185 aircraft and by the end of the year expecting to have 200 aircraft in operation.
The airlines plans are of particular importance for Africa, as the present 20 destinations on the continent will expand to an estimated 30 by the end of 2012 before adding a further 10 in 2013, then covering the African continent like few others not at home in Africa.
The competition with the in PR terms at least big league carriers from the Gulf such as Emirates and Qatar Airways, Etihad here is still playing catch up, is indicative of the worlds newfound interest in Africa for economic cooperation and tourism, as mineral riches and more recently discovered major oil and gas deposits in Eastern Africa have renewed the global rush to tap into Africas resources.
Of interest for aviation observers here is that Turkish, a member of global industry leader Star Alliance, is muscling into a market alongside partners Ethiopian, which covers Africa truly like no other, Egypt Air and South African at the opposite ends of the continent, leaving OneWorld badly trailing in Africa in the absence of a significant and able partner, unlike SkyTeam which has Kenya Airways in its ranks. KQ in terms of Africa coverage is just a short nose behind Ethiopian but is also adding more Africa destinations via Nairobi, to satisfy the sharp rise in demand for travel to Africa.
Local travel agents expressed their surprise when asked about the added flights by Turkish to the US, and in fact their presence in Africa right now and their increased footprint projected for the future, a sign that the PR machinery at THY has some catching up to do themselves, now that they are outed as a big league carrier. Watch this space.