By Fanis Zois
Turkish Airlines is ready to invest in Greece, Ahmet Olmustur, the high-flying carrier’s chief marketing officer told “N” this week, as part of the company’s increasingly robust presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
In pointing to one example of how the Turkish carrier turned the ongoing international economic crisis into an opportunity, Olmustur said THY’s 25-percent increase in passenger volume in flights to and from Greece is due to the latter’s growing popularity with Turkish holiday-makers. In exploiting the trend, Turkish Airlines scheduled six flights (from Athens and Thessaloniki) to Istanbul on a daily basis. The same strategy was employed in numerous other destinations.
“If you consider that Istanbul at the moment is directly connected with 287 cities around the world in 113 countries, then you realize how this increase in passenger volume came about, and what our future prospects are,” he told “N”.
The THY executive said projections for the Greek market remain positive in 2016, while warning, nevertheless, that outside factors affecting air transports towards a specific country are not always foreseeable or manageable.
He also noted that Turkish Airlines has already found very reliable tourism-sector partners in the Greek market, while it is still seeking new cooperation, a veritable “win-win situation.”
Asked about a significant increase in the number of Greek travellers choosing to fly Turkish Airlines to various destinations via the Istanbul hub, he referred to an “important choice by our Greek customers”.
New THY routes over the past year number 11, including Miami and Durban, South Africa.