Turkish Airlines (THY) ranks first in connecting Africa with the rest of the world, a senior official of Turkey’s flag carrier said on Sept. 28.
Company Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil also added the airline was the “most effective and active” company in the same interview with Anadolu Agency.
Kotil said that the number of flight destinations increased from four to 47 in Africa. At first, the airline only selected destinations where 160-seater planes could fly but now it “practically” covers sub-Saharan Africa, he explained.
“When we launched these flights, they did not seem to be commercial; those who know the sector claimed Turkish Airlines was flying for political aims,” he said.
About the company’s destination of Niger capital Niamey, Kotil said French airline AirFrance had launched three flights a week before Turkish Airlines began flying there.
“Turkish Airlines is flying almost every day. What happened this time? We tripled and quadrupled the flights to Niamey,” Kotil said.
He also said the increase in African flights was helping Africa’s middle-class.
“Middle class of Africa is growing; with its 1.2 billion population, this class will make Africa a larger economy after China in 20 years,” Kotil added.
He also called for Turkish businesspeople to discover the continent more.
“Every Turkish businessperson should think about what to do in Africa, I believe, as Africa has a big population and great resources. There are many Turks who make trade in Senegal. We carry fish they bought in Senegal to take to Japan through flights via Istanbul. There are many Turkish textile companies active in Ethiopia. Besides, a Turkish businessman built the Somalian airport,” he said.
Turkish Airlines offers flights to over 250 international destinations in over 100 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America.