LONDON – Turkish Airlines reports that its total revenue has increased by 30% compared to the same period last year, with the figure reaching $6 billion.

The airline’s net profits also increased to $258 million, which climbed up from $17 million due to the increasing demand and unit revenues.

With this, the Istanbul-based carrier continues to be one of the most profitable airlines in the world.

Load factors also increased by 4.3% to 80.4%—the highest the airline has seen in its history of operations.

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During the same period, passenger numbers rose to 35 million—another record-breaking figure.

On the cargo front, the airline recorded a 26% increase of 779,000 additional tons as compared to the previous year.

Fleet Updates

Currently, the carrier operates 279 planes, of which 98 belong to the Airbus A320 family, 64 A330-200/300s, four A340-300s, 78 Boeing 737-700/800/900s, and 35 Boeing 777-200F/300(ER)s.

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Next year, Turkish Airlines plans to introduce its brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on the Istanbul-Washington DC, Atlanta, and Denpasar routes.

The carrier is aiming for a total fleet count of 500 aircraft by 2023, continuing its aggressive growth to become the airline with most destinations served in the globe.

At the moment, the airline operates flights to 49 domestic and 255 international destinations, totaling 304 routes across 122 countries.

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New routes that have been launched in 2018 are Freetown, Samarkand, Krasnodar, and Moroni.

According to the airline’s report, the recorded growth seems to be aligned with IATA’s global aviation forecast, which reports an overall capacity growth of around 6% and demand increase of approximately 7%.

New Istanbul Airport In The Horizon

With Istanbul’s new airport set to open in October, Turkey’s flag carrier expects it to be the “largest movement of equipment in civil aviation history.”

The current Ataturk Airport is set to close as soon as the new Istanbul Airport opens. All the operating equipment will move from the old airport to the new over a 45-hour period between October 29 and 31, assisted by 15,000 vehicles and 5,000 trucks.

The airline’s chairman, İlker Aycı, admitted that “it is of great importance for us to run comprehensive tests in an effort to achieve a smoother integration.”

“Any process of us will be tested and planned in a 100% harmonized work. Training will be key here. Our consultants have emphasized this,” said Aycı.

In fact, the airline has been testing the airport’s check-in and baggage handling systems, providing real-time data by 33,000 ground crew staff.

According to the airline, “hundreds of takeoffs and landings” will be practiced by Pilots ahead of the airport’s opening on October 31 as part of familiarity training and operational tests.

The first flight out of the new airport will be under Turkish Airlines’ watch. The airline has confirmed that flights to Azerbaijan, Ankara, and Cyprus will carry the honors to inaugurate Istanbul’s new gateway.