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Turkish Airlines eyes daily flights to Istanbul

MANILA, Philippines - Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Turkey, is looking at expanding its flights between the Philippines and Turkey after launching its direct, non-stop Manila - Istanbul flights last Monday.

Temel Kotil, chief executive officer of Turkish Airlines, said the airline expects to leverage on renewed global interest in the Philippines.

 “We are very excited to bring our renowned inflight services to Filipinos, and we hope that our new flights to Manila will boost trade between our two countries,” Kotil said.

He added that the airline is targeting businessmen, tourists, and transit passengers seeking a gateway to Europe.

 “Transit passengers prefer to use Turkey as a jump-off point to Europe for its seamless transfer procedures. Strategically located in the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Turkey is only three hours away by plane from over 60 different countries,” he said.

Data showed that the number of tourists from Turkey visiting the Philippines rose 19 percent to 3,731 in 2013 while Filipinos visiting Turkey reached 3,581 last year.

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Turkish Airlines currently has direct, thrice-weekly flights between Manila and Istanbul pursuant to the air pact, which grants Turkish carriers three frequencies per week to Manila and Clark.

Scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, the flights are seen to serve growing two-way tourist arrivals between the two countries.

Turkish Airline chief marketing officer Ahmet Olmustur said the airline is looking at mounting daily flights between Manila and Istanbul.

For his part, Turkish Airlines general manager for the Philippines Erhan Balaban is upbeat about tourism prospects between the Philippines and Turkey.

 “Many are eager to discover the Philippines’ world-famous beaches, while there are historic sites in Turkey and Europe that Filipinos would love to see,” he says, adding that enhanced connectivity will promote the two countries as premium leisure destinations,” Balaban said.

With over 260 destinations in 108 countries, Turkish Airlines operates the world’s fourth largest flight network. It flew more than 54 million passengers in 2014.


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