SunExpress, a Turkish flag carrier joint venture with German Lufthansa, will contribute to Turkish tourism this summer by adding to its flight network more destinations, the airliner said on Tuesday.
The company said its flights network between Turkey and Europe will be extended by the inclusion of new routes, including the three main cities of the Middle East, namely Lebanese capital, Beirut, Irbil, in northern Iraq and in Tel Aviv, from Turkish resort towns in southern Antialya and western Izmir along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts.
"We are expecting to see a ramp-up in demand for travel during the upcoming summer season," SunExpress CEO Max Kownatzki said.
Kownatzki expects that commonly used vaccines and an easier availability of COVID-19 tests in many countries would boost growth in tourism in the next holiday season. "This will allow all cavationers to fly safer and consequently raise tourist numbers in Europe.
Kownatzki said Turkish tourism will gain considerable momentum and come out stronger from the crisis in line with the progress made in vaccination rollouts in Turkey and the countries within its flight network in praising Turkey's successful initiatives to curb the spread of vaccine after its first emergence.
"As a key contributor to the Turkish tourism industry, we are poised to foster this strong comeback," he added.
In the next summer season, SunExpress will sell close to 6 million seats on international routes and 1.8 million seats on domestic routes, operating direct flights from Turkey to 27 countries and 52 destinations.
Kownatzki said that this summer the new routes would not only improve its bridge between Turkey and Europe, but open new markets.
“We will connect Antalya and Izmir to the major centers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Thanks to the dynamic structure of our company, we are taking into consideration the demands of our passengers while determining the new routes and prefer the destinations that attract the most demand,” he said.
The new destinations to which SunExpress will conduct flights from Antalya include Beirut, Geneva, Irbil, Chisinau, Ljubljana, London, Gatwick, Manchester, Sofia and Tel Aviv while those conducted from Izmir include Beirut, Geneva, Kyiv and Tel Aviv.
SunExpress, linking 15 towns of Anatolia, including Bodrum and Dalaman to the south-west, will begin operating seven new routes from five separate Anatolian towns in the summer of 2021, thru direct flights to several major cities of Europe outside Antalya and Izmir.
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