How Turkish Airlines’ Passenger Segments Have Evolved

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    Turkish Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    TK / THY

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Istanbul Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Bilal Ekşi


Last week, we covered how Turkish Airlines reported a healthy Q2 2022 revenue of $ 4.5 billion. While shifts toward boosting cargo capacity have definitely helped the carrier adapt to the conditions of the global health crisis, meeting ever-evolving passenger demands has proved to be valuable for the flag carrier of Turkey.

Market transitions

Simple Flying recently caught up with Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat, to understand how passenger segments have changed since the start of the pandemic. He explained that not only have habits and needs transformed, but the price sensitivity of individuals, groups, and organizations has also changed.


We have all heard that business travel will no longer be the same as before. Yet, it wasn’t only this sector that was impacted. Restrictions, risks, and the economy all played their part.

Bolat told Simple Flying about the pandemic consequences:

“We are an industry that studies the fragile structure of aviation in the face of difficult situations … While the reduced meetings and conferences affected the business traffic; we saw a decrease in traffic in the holiday, VFR and student segments due to restrictions. “

“Although the returns in the economy and business segments were lower than before the pandemic; today, compared to 2021, it is observed that our industry performs much better with the increasing demand and accordingly the increasing supply. In general, we observe recovery and returns in both economy and business segments. I fully believe that our industry will perform better than before with the integration of transformation and change in the coming years. “

The airline continues to identify opportunities. Photo: Turkish Airlines

When Turkish Airlines evaluated passengers on a sectoral basis, it observed that companies operating on a global scale implemented cost-cutting policies. Overall, there has been a shift towards the SME market.

Banking, finance, and IT outfits have started to work remotely and travel less for business. However, production, government duty, and humanitarian travel have increased. Moreover, the increasing use of credit cards triggered the increase in the carrier’s online sales and the importance it attached to digitalization in this process.

“Depending on the changing passenger habits throughout the sector, the trips planned weeks before the flight were replaced by the plans closer to the flight. Also, the interest in our products for students has increased. As Turkish Airlines, we have developed our products and offered solutions to our customers in line with the changing segments within our Corporate Club brand.

“Turkish Airlines’ overall cost advantage, wide flight network, young fleet, effective capacity management and operational flexibility, and our employees, who are the foundation of our capabilities, have been our strength in this process. Thus, we became a pioneer in the recovery, both financially and operationally, by responding faster than our competitors to the acceleration in the diversified passenger segments. “

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Expansion plans

Last month, the firm had its busiest day ever, with over 260,000 passengers flown and an 87% occupancy rate. Now, Turkish Airlines is looking to expand in this recovery era. It is eyeing 14 international routes, with Europe and North America operations expected to grow.

The opening of the new Istanbul Airport before the health crisis is also proving its worth today. With 80% of the site dedicated to Turkish Airlines, the carrier has the opportunity to offer more advanced services to its passengers. Many operational constraints experienced due to the capacity and congestion effects originating from Atatürk Airport were eliminated with the introduction of Istanbul Airport.

Contrasting the pandemic downturn, over 95% of the carrier’s aircraft are currently active. Photo: Getty Images

For instance, the waiting rates of aircraft at Atatürk Airport were minimized with Istanbul Airport amid the increase in aircraft take-off and landing capacity and the simultaneous use of runways. While the hourly aircraft landing-take-off capacity at Atatürk Airport is 70, it began with 80 at Istanbul Airport and increased to 120 with the completion of the third runway.

So, with full steam ahead in meeting global demand in both cargo and passenger fields, we can expect the operator to continue its winning battle against 2019’s figures in this next chapter.

What are your thoughts about Turkish Airlines’ passenger segments? What do you make of the overall operations of the airline? Let us know what you think of the carrier and its activity in the comment section.

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