Turkish Airlines: ”It’s Not True That We Want To Take Over Croatia Airlines”

Lauren Simmonds

”Our plan is to open up other destinations in Croatia to make it even more well connected with the whole world, and attract more tourists.”

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 13th of April, 2018, the well-known Turkish flight company, Turkish Airlines, marks twenty years of flying to the Croatian capital of Zagreb this year.

When it comes to just how much significance this company holds as far as air traffic in Croatia is concerned, its enough to show the impressive figure of 14 flights per week, or two per day. What are Turkish Airlines’ plans for the upcoming period in Croatia, the region, and globally? Ugur Cantimur, General Director of Turkish Airlines in Zagreb, explained.

What is the level of presence of Turkish Airlines in the region (the countries of the former Yugoslavia) and how were the routes developed in this area?

Turkish Airlines is currently flying to any major city in the region, such as Belgrade, Sarajevo, Podgorica, Ljubljana… In general, before we decide to add another destination to our list, our team of experts conduct a number of studies focusing on research on a specific market, and within the aforementioned studies, we decide on the expansion of our network. These studies are also taken into account when assessing the performance and effectiveness of our existing destinations, which is also a decisive factor when it comes to our network expansion. In addition, it’s important to follow different changes and then take all the necessary initiatives. In short, we can say that this was our main strategy for disseminating our network when deciding on the start of flights both in Zagreb, and in the whole region.

How did Turkish Airlines routes in Croatia develop, and do you have plans for their further development in terms of increased frequencies, new destinations, or larger/smaller aircraft?

Twenty years ago, we started flying twice a week to Zagreb, and today we’ve got 14 flights per week. Two years ago, we also started with flights to Dubrovnik throughout the year, with four flights per week. This summer, we increased the number of flights to 11 per week. Our plan is to open up more destinations in Croatia, to make it even more well connect with the whole world, and attract more tourists from all over the world.

What, according to your estimates, is the structure of passengers on Turkish Airlines flights to Croatia?

As Croatia is a very attractive destination for tourists all over the world, on our flights you can really see travellers coming from all over the world.

Over the past period, it’s been repeatedly announced Turkish Airlines has interest in taking over Croatia Airlines. How likely would such an acquisition in the future be, and does it have any business sense for Turkish Airlines?

The aforementioned speculation isn’t correct. We have a very professional partnership relationship with Croatia Airlines, one that we’d like to nurture in the future as well.

Aside from a strong network of both local and regional lines, which are the primary intercontinental areas (destinations) for Turkish Airlines?

Each destination is of special importance for Turkish Airlines. However, from the perspective of representation in Zagreb, over the past couple of years, America has become an increasingly important market for our exceptional connectivity that we began to offer through Istanbul as a hub.

You have big plans to develop a hub in Istanbul via a new airport. How much will the relative proximity of the so-called EMB3 (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha) capacity be a challenge to that?

By the end of the year, we expect the opening of our new airport and we’re already very proud of that. This will be one of the largest airports in the world that will receive 90 million passengers per year in its very first phase. In the aviation industry, we’re constantly facing different challenges, but we believe that the new aerodrome will further contribute to the development of our award-winning services.

The recent opening of the Perth – London direct line has brought in some new standards to the airline industry. Will Turkish Airlines follow these trends, and where do you see the future of aviation in ten years?

Of course we’ll always follow the trends and evaluate all the opportunities offered in order to provide our passengers with additional benefits. We’re constantly working on improving our award-winning services in order to turn our passengers’ travel into an unparalleled experience in every respect.


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