Route of The Week:
Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul – Mogadishu
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed together with hundreds of officials cheered a delegation led by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Dr Temel Kotil, CEO Turkish Airlines, as the airline became the first Western carrier in more than 20 years to commence scheduled services to Mogadishu last week. “On behalf of my people, it is an honour for me that the THY plane flew here. We thank the Turkish people,” said the Somali Head of State to mark the milestone.
- Turkish Airlines became the first major commercial airline in decades to offer air services to Somalia’s Mogadishu (MGQ) on 6 March. The twice-weekly service will be operated as an extension of the Istanbul Atatürk (IST) to Khartoum (KRT) service, which the airline has offered since April 2006. The airline’s 167-seat 737-800 equipment will be deployed on the route. The service comes after last year’s visit by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who “wanted to challenge the notion that Somalia was a no-go area”. For many years, Somalia’s unrest served as a deterrent for airlines, with Kenya Express’ flights to Nairobi and Dalloo Airlines’ Djibouti service, offered since 2004 and 2011 respectively, being the country’s only international links. No Western carrier has served the country since Alitalia dropped its Rome Fiumicino to Mogadishu via Addis Ababa link in 1985.