Turkish Airlines adds Houston to intercontinental network; opens second Istanbul base at Sabiha Gökçen

Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul Atatürk to Houston

Cutting the ribbon upon Turkish Airlines’ arrival in Houston were Houston Airport System’s Director of Aviation, Mario Diaz; Turkish Minister of Economy, Zafer Çaðlayan; Houston Mayor, Annise Parker; and Hamdi Topçu, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board.

There were major celebrations at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Sunday when Turkish Airlines officially celebrated making the airport its second base in Istanbul. By mid-summer the airline will be serving a total of 13 international destinations from the airport. Getting ready to cut the cake are Berk Albayrak, Chief Operations Officer, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport; Halil Ibrahim Polat, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Turkish Airlines; Abdullah Soner Akkurt, Chief Commercial Officer, Turkish Airlines; Gökhan Buğday, Chief Executive Officer, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport; Ibrahim Doğan, Deputy Senior Vice President of Regional Flights, Turkish Airlines. For only the second time in anna.aero's history, Ralph Anker was on hand to try some of the celebratory cake for himself!

  • Turkish Airlines has finally decided to create a second base at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), as if operating to over 200 destinations from Istanbul’s main airport is not enough. By mid-summer, the carrier will serve 13 international destinations non-stop from the airport, but to start the summer season it launched flights to Amsterdam (AMS), Kuwait (KWI), Paris CDG (CDG), Tehran (IKA) and Vienna (VIE). Four of these routes are already served by other airlines, with local rival Pegasus present on three of the routes. Turkish Airlines also serves all of these destinations with between three and four daily flights from Istanbul Atatürk (IST). Talking of which, the airline launched a new transatlantic service from there to Houston, TX (IAH), its fifth US destination after Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, New York JFK and Washington Dulles, on 1 April. Flights will initially be operated four-times weekly with 777-300ERs, increasing to six-times weekly from the beginning of July. Speaking at the route launch in Houston, Hamdi Topçu, Turkish Airlines’ chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee said, “We’re delighted that Turkish Airlines can now serve the Houston community and better connect them with our services to 220 destinations globally via Istanbul. Houston is a key point in international aviation. We believe that these new flights will make international travel easier and more convenient for both business and leisure travellers in the area.”
Launch date From To WF Competition at SAW (WF) TK from IST (WF)
1 April Istanbul (SAW) Amsterdam (AMS) 4 Pegasus (7), Transavia (7) 28
31 March Kuwait (KWI) 5 Jazeera Airways (2) 17
31 March Paris CDG (CDG) 3 28
1 April Tehran (IKA) 5 Iran Aseman Airlines (4), Pegasus (7) 23
1 April Vienna (VIE) 4 Pegasus (7) 28


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