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Turkish Airlines

About Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines (Turkish: Türk Hava Yollari) (BIST: THYAO) is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey. As of 2017, it operates scheduled services to 302 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the largest carrier in the world by number of destinations (excluding regional brands).It serves more destinations non-stop from a single airport than any other airline in Europe.Turkish Airlines flies to 120 countries, more than any other airline.With an operational fleet of 15 cargo aircraft, the airline's cargo division serves 73 destinations.

The airline's corporate headquarters are at the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yesilköy, Bakirköy, Istanbul.Istanbul Atatürk Airport is the airline's main base, and there are secondary hubs at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and Ankara Esenboga International Airport. Turkish Airlines has been a member of the Star Alliance network since 1 April 2008.

The airline was plagued by several issues in the 1980s and 90s. It developed a reputation for poor customer service and delays. It also endured hijackings and suffered seven accidents between 1974 and 1983. The most notorious was the 1974 crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 981, when an aircraft design flaw lead to a faulty cargo door breaking off in flight near Ermenonville, France, resulting in the deaths of 346 people.

A new government came to power in 1983 which recognized THY's importance as Turkey's gateway to the world, beginning the airline's makeover into a modern operation. It would go on to maintain one of the youngest fleets in the world. Security was intensified, causing one shipper to compare it to Israel's El Al, at least in terms of delays.

THY built a new, state-of-the-art technical center at Yesilköy Airport in 1984. The airline was capable of both light and heavy maintenance on a number of different aircraft types. Technical staff then made up one-quarter of the airline's 6,000 employees, according to Air Transport World. In 1984, the company's capital was raised to TL 60 billion as it was classified as a state economic enterprise. Three years later, the capital was raised again, to TL 150 billion.


Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 at Zürich Airport in 1995.
By the mid-1980s, THY had a fleet of 30 aircraft. It was flying about three million passengers a year to 16 domestic destinations and three dozen international ones. The airline was Turkey's largest source of foreign currency. Turkish Airlines began operating Airbus A310s in 1985, allowing the addition of flights to Singapore in 1986. A route to New York City via Brussels was added in 1988.

The company posted losses in 1987 and 1988, largely due to high payments on its dozen new Airbus A310s, according to Air Transport World. The fleet also included 11 Boeing 727s and nine Douglas DC-9s. THY ended the decade with 8,500 employees.

The company suffered in the global aviation crisis following the Persian Gulf War and would not break even again until 1994. However, business was again booming in the mid-1990s, with the greatest growth coming from North American destinations.[citation needed] THY launched a nonstop flight to New York City in July 1994.

The company's capital continued to be raised, reaching TL 10 trillion in 1995. During that year, the airline also converted three of their Boeing 727s to dedicated freighters. The DC-9s had been sold off. The company posted a $6 million profit on revenues of $1 billion for the year. While profitable, THY had to contend with Turkey's exorbitant inflation, making capital improvements difficult.

The domestic market was deregulated in 1996, allowing new scheduled competition from charter airlines. At the same time, larger international carriers were providing stiff competition on routes to Western Europe. THY entered into marketing agreements with other international airlines to enhance their competitiveness. The company teamed with Japan Airlines to offer service to Osaka and Tokyo in 1997 and 1998. Other jointly operated flights soon followed with Austrian Airlines, Swissair, and Croatia Airlines.