Turkish Airlines plans flights to Australia

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  • AMcWhirter

    Turkish Airlines (TK) is poised to announce a mammoth order for new aircraft.

    The order is expected to be announced next month at the IATA AGM in Istanbul.

    What attracted my attention however is the news that TK plans to serve Melbourne later this year.

    From what I know Melbourne is more accommodating for new airlines rather than Sydney whose airport is busier.

    It’s not the first time TK has talked about starting service to Australia.

    A few years ago TK said it wanted to fly non-stop from Istanbul (in order to better compete with the Gulfies and their non-stop flights) but then came the pandemic and nothing further happened.

    If TK were to fly non-stop it could be by deploying one of the new aircraft it will be ordering.

    Given TK’s extensive coverage of secondary destinations, both here and in mainland Europe, it would be competitive on scheduling.

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    Interesting that El AL also selected Melbourne over Sydney for their upcoming launch as well. I guess must go to your point that MEL must be more accommodating to new airlines.


    Melbourne airport has a lot of spare capacity. Existing facilities (e.g. Gates) are not fully utilised most of the time of any day.


    There would be many more potential passengers for El AL ex Melbourne and it was this that would have influenced that choice.
    Race may well have been the decider for Turkish also. There would be close to 400,000 Turkish 1st second or third generation Turks in Melbourne -Sydney has many fewer.


    Sydney has been in a downward spiral for many years now. I had lived n worked there and travel back to Oz a few times a year since.
    Many friends and colleagues have moved away to Melbourne, or up to Queensland and around, to a better, less overpriced, congested life. Many European family Generations are gone from the City, pushed out by residence and shop space prices.Roads are clogged more tunnels go under and around, and the return of the trams has pedestrianised part of the centre.

    Thai has started 2 x daily flights into MEL on A350’s, but only 1 x 773 !nto Sydney.
    I see far less International traffic, or Airlines with once a day flights now rather than numerous, and the use of smaller Aircraft.

    So many high rise apartments for residence or travellers, that when everyone comes out, the city has no space left anymore.
    The “Australian” fusion foods have gone, and more traditional places pushed out, “China Town” is half the city now. There is not a blend of cultures that existed before. its is V expensive.

    Melbourne is Less high rise, but sprawling suburbs full of flat buildings, full of character, cafe and food culture, arts, theatre, a more serious city.
    (Moonie Ponds does exist, but sadly its most famous resident, Dame Edna Everage, has passed!)

    There are better cities than Sydney these days to explore, so i am not surprised of the Airlines picking up on this.
    MEL – SYD (i think) was the most busy Airline for a domestic route Worldwide?
    Pre Covid, 4 domestic Airlines ran flights as often as every 15 mins between cities each, at peak times. It was a tough job to find the right airlines and not be boarding the flight 15 mins before or after the one you booked!
    Gone are the days when the larger Aircraft would take more people less often, they are all 737 variants!
    If MEL has lots of gates free it would be due to less Domestic flights, not just International Airlines.

    Clever International Airlines would take in both cities as Emirates did, or going onto NZ, or on to Pacific destinations.
    But they boxed in Air New Zealand, who are now beginning again to expand and thrive also.
    Domestic Fares remain high priced, with few other options due to distance and no real rail links outside a city, or good Road options.

    For sure, there needs to be a re-think about dispersing to other cities the International flights into Australia – and NZ or Onto the Pacific even, as they continue to return.

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    Smart move by Turkish. Their huge and expanding network should provide plenty of traffic onto the flights, and as others have said, Melbourne has huge VFR potential to and from Europe. Turkish operate plenty of widebody flights from the UK too, so the hard product should be reasonable from start to finish, and connections are in a state of the art airport.

    All well and good, although Turkish’s downfall is in their customer service if anything goes wrong – they are way behind the major airlines on this. I rang them yesterday about a client with a severe nut allergy, and they didn’t even understand what an allergy was. Subsequent communication with their UK office resulted in the useful advice to bring someone with them, and that without a doctor’s note they will be refused boarding. And everyone else has the right to eat nuts on board. Anyway, a subject for another thread….

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    stuart leFrenchy

    “…state of the art airport ” you write, well yes BUT and also BEWARE of this airport. It is massive and connections require previous training in marathon distance running. Not just for connections but to baggage claim , to passport control , then exits. And lastly god forbid should you be offered airport hotel accommodation by TK in relation to a connecting layover. You will be bused on a 2 to 3 hour bus ride to the so called ” airport hotels” which are in fact nearer to Istanbul city actually…. a 3000 mile trip ( feels like! ). Horrendous airport for connections. Avoid at all costs.

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    [postquote quote=1361218]

    This is in my opinion an excellent and accurate revue of the current movement of airlines and population away from Sydney and the growth of Melbourne towards becoming the premier airline destination in AU.

    The revue touched on the NZ market which I find to be stagnant and underserved for an affluent market of now 5.3 million. The domination of Air New Zealand and small thinking predominate in the travel industry with travel to and from the USA dominating with it seems the huge potential of the European and other markets ignored.

    ANZ has no real competition internally or to wider world markets and it is this that has generated the complacency and small thinking that prevails throughout the airlines management and is holding back development of the international market by the dominant player.

    ANZ is run by a grocer who I am sure is good at balancing the books but there seems to be little in depth international experience in the management team and ANZ has become almost a bit player who can no longer be regarded as a player in the world aviation market.

    This given the huge and booming inbound tourist demand starkly points up the airlines lack of ambition.
    Their international fleet is still fitted with the old Virgin ‘doctors waiting room’ seating when the rest of the world moved on ten years ago.
    lts truly international network is moribund apart from the US with tiny Fiji’s well run, profitable and fast expanding ambitious airline running rings around it and with plans to restart the London route using A350 aircraft.

    Christchurch the capital of the South Island and the premier tourist destination is very underserved internationally with ANZ wanting to hub out of Auckland. It has a large and excellent Airport and now some international players apart from Qantas with Singapore and Emirates flying daily and Cathay Pacific seasonally…..its not enough although there are rumours that JAL will return.

    Basically ANZ is giving away the farm to the the middle-eastern airlines and the major Asian players and that ship looks to have already sailed.

    Very few years back there were 2 or 3 flights a day to London and 5 European carriers operating into NZ. The route used to be ANZs premier and a cash cow – now nothing… zilch – why because the airline was mismanaged and it was just all too hard and they just walked away. Its several valuable LHR slots have been ether sold or leased and the strong infrastructure dismantled or given away
    This when European tourist demand has for many years been huge and is growing – now no NZ or European carrier operating to or from the country.

    This seems to me, who lived in NZ for 8 years and has a large business there all to be rather pathetic.
    I read today that Qantas is about to increase its presently tiny presents in the market and that the major Asian players are increasing flights via HKG or Singapore to Europe….. but where is the flagship carrier?….. I read busy building hammocks and tents for economy passengers.

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    This thread has aroused so much interest.

    Just wanted to update it with the news that Turkish Airlines will operate to Melbourne from December using B787 equipment.

    Full schedule details unknown at this stage.

    As reported by Aviation Week the main details are:

    * Three flights a week. Under the ASA Turkish Airlines is limited to four flights a week.

    * Route will be Istanbul-Singapore-Melbourne. Unclear whether fifth freedom rights SIN-MEL will be granted.

    * Further expansion might include Brisbane and Perth.

    * Newer aircraft delivered in future ought to enable the airline to fly non-stop to Australia.

    (ASA = air services agreement)

    Personally I would say that Turkish will have little difficulty filling these flights.

    That’s because it’s a sixth-freedom airline, winter is the peak season for travel Europe-Australia and Turkish operates a dense network of feeder flights from UK/mainland Europe to Istanbul.


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    [postquote quote=1362555]

    It’s also worth noting that, due to the vast size of the airport runway and taxi network, it can easily take 25 minutes from landing to parking up at the terminal. Any connection under 1 hour 30 mins, I would avoid.

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