As Turkey continues to rebound on the tourism front, airlines are stepping up with new flight routes for 2018. Turkey received 32.5 million foreign tourists in 2017, a near 30 percent jump on 2016. Data also showed tourism revenues increase to $26.2 billion in 2017, a 19 percent rise. Given these positive findings, and with news from the likes of Thomas Cook, TUI and Jet2 that demand for summer holidays in Turkey is strengthening and consistent, flight carriers are responding with extra seats and routes.
Recent data has revealed that the UK-Turkey flight market is expanding in 2018 with additional seats availability up by 20 percent and 31 new flight routes from the UK, with the majority offered by Thomas Cook and Jet2.com.
Thomas Cook: 11 new routes and an extra 26,000 seats will include new routes from Leeds Bradford to Dalaman and Antalya.
Jet2.com: As one of the biggest tour operators, Jet2.com has confirmed several new routes to keep up with demand. Adding 70,000 seats to its network, these include East Midlands Airport to Bodrum and more flight availability, with six weekly flights to Antalya and Dalaman. It has also added Birmingham-Dalaman as well as Edinburgh to Antalya and Dalaman, and Glasgow to Bodrum. Jet2.com is also offering extra flight capacities to Antalya from Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Newcastle and Manchester. A new route from Belfast to Dalaman is also confirmed.
TUI: The former Thomson brand is launching a series of new flights, including Cardiff to Antalya every Monday from May, Norwich to Dalaman, extra availability and flights from Manchester to Dalaman and Antalya, and a new flight from Newcastle to Antalya.
Easyjet: The low-cost carrier will be expanding its Turkish network with additional flights from its seven UK airports. These include Luton-Dalaman and Liverpool-Dalaman.
The UK market may well be on the comeback, but other airline operators are also returning. Middle East discount carrier Air Arabia is lining up a flight from the UAE to Izmir twice a week. This will be its fifth destination to Turkey, alongside Bodrum, Istanbul, Antalya and Trabzon.
High-end carrier Emirates Airlines will be providing Dubai-Sabiha Gokcen availability five times a week from June. Qatar Airways will fly Qatar to Hatay from April, its fifth destination to Turkey.
Five new destinations are being offered for summer 2018 by independent flier Germania. These will include routes from Berlin to Adana, Dalaman, Gaziantep, Kayseri and Samsun.
News on Turkey's Airports
Istanbul's Third Airport is fully expected to become operational on the 95th anniversary of the Turkish Republic - October 29, 2018. A total of 125 air traffic controllers will be employed to handle a capacity of 3,000 flights a day.
Dalaman Airport's new £150 million international terminal is scheduled to open in April. It is set to handle 15 million passengers, including flights from 18 UK airports.
Turkey's government has announced plans to tender for the building of Alacati Airport to serve Alacati and Cesme, near Izmir. Alacati is renowned for its picture postcard houses, its food festival and as a famous windsurfing locale. The tender process will begin mid-April.