Leak of the week: Turkish Airlines to start 2014 with new routes
anna.aero can exclusively reveal that Turkish Airlines will add Varna in Bulgaria, the second largest city in the country and the seaside resort on the Black Sea coast, as well as Cotonou, the largest city and economic centre in Benin, to its network in 2014. This disclosure follows our 2013 predictions, when we predicted that 37 new routes were to be launched by the Star Alliance carrier, many of which, including Colombo, Friedrichshafen, Marseille, and Kano were proven correct.
Turkish dominates South-East Europe
In terms of the South-East Europe market from Istanbul (services to Albania, Bulgaria, Boznia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) Turkish Airlines has a clear #1 position. Looking at Innovata/Diio Mi schedules (for w/c 14 January), four airlines offer 126 weekly flights and 18,285 seats to South-East Europe from Istanbul Atatürk and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen. Turkish Airlines leads the way on its seven services into the region, with 72.2% of flights and 68.9% of seats, all from its Atatürk hub, so adding Varna will further strengthen its #1 position. Pegasus Airlines is a distant second, with its five services to the region generating 19% of flights and 24.8% of seats. Turkish Airlines is also the only carrier serving the Bulgaria market, with its double-daily link to Sofia.
|Airline||Route From Istanbul (IST)||WF||WS|
|B & H Airlines||Sarajevo (SJJ)||4||264|
|Turkish Airlines||Belgrade (BEG)||17||2,342|
|Airline||Route From Istanbul (SAW)||WF||WS|
|Air Serbia||Belgrade (BEG)||7||882|
|Pegasus Airlines||Belgrade (BEG)||4||756|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi 14-20 January|
Critically for Turkish Airlines, Bulgaria is relatively free of the Middle East Big-3 carriers (MEB3) with only Qatar Airways flying five times weekly to Sofia (in conjunction with Bucharest) with a mixture of A320 and A321 equipment. Due to Turkish Airlines’ ability to serve these types markets with narrow-body aircraft at a low-weekly frequency, coupled with a stronger point-to-point demand for local traffic to Istanbul rather than any of the MEB3 hubs in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, has allowed the carrier to dominate the region.
Turkish also dominates West Africa
When it comes to services into West Africa from Istanbul, Turkish Airlines has 100% of the existing market, flying to eight destinations in the region prior to the expected launch of Cotonou. Several of the markets are served with double-drop operations (Abidjan, Dakar and Ouagadougou), which suffices for the airline until the destination is able to be served non-stop, and at this point it is unclear whether Cotonou will follow this type of flying pattern.
|Airline||Route from Istanbul (IST)||WF||WS|
|Turkish Airlines||Abidjan (ABJ)*||4||604|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi 14-20 January. * Via ACC. ~Via NKC. #Via OUA|
While local rival Pegasus is absent in terms of competition in this region, the area is far better-served by the MEB3, with all three flying at least daily to Lagos (Emirates, double-daily; Etihad Airways, daily; and Qatar Airways, daily), but with Emirates also flying to Abidjan, Accra, Conakry and Dakar.
Domestic market earmarked for biggest growth
These two new routes represent the tip of the iceberg in terms of the airline’s planned capacity growth for 2014. In recent statements to the Turkish stock exchange it has suggested growth in the following markets: Domestic, +33%; Latin America, +29%; Africa, +25%; Far East, +22%; North America, +20%; Europe, +16%; and Middle East, +13%. Additionally, in 2014 the airline expects fleet size to grow to 267 (207 units today), with 259 destinations to be served (243 today), and it is targeting 59.5 million passengers (versus 48.3 million passengers in 2013 – or +23%!!!).
Like most of you out there, anna.aero will remain very interested in Turkish Airlines’ continued insatiable growth and we will always endeavour to bring you their network development news first.