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In an interview with ASEANAFFAIRS, Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines, talks about

growth opportunities amidst the industry  downturn. The airlines’ recent aggressive route expansion and aggressive marketing drive in Southeast Asia is  an encouraging signal for the aviation industry in
the region.

Q: What are the reasons behind Turkish Airlines’ plans to introduce new routes and step up flights to Southeast Asian destinations, which is happening amidst the industry downturn?

A: Within Turkish Airlines growth strategy, investing for new routes is an item that we attach significant importance even though the downturn in the industry is evident. In this context, Turkish Airlines continues to launch routes on a global scale. In 2009, Turkish has launched flights to Nairobi , Dakar , Sao Paolo, Benghazi , Meshad, Toronto , Jakarta , Goteborg and Lviv. We are in the process of seeking new routes to add to our portfolio since we believe that more destinations will work best to nominate Istanbul as a truly regional and even global hub.

Q: What would you attribute Turkish Airlines’ continued growth in profit and passenger numbers to?

A: Turkish Airlines focuses on many items that we believe would work significantly for the end goal of growth. In that respect, we make continuous efforts to service quality, best performing connection opportunities and offering more and more convenient flights to passengers. We are making our best in order to promote Istanbul's distinct location as a hub.

Q: How are you adapting to the challenges facing the aviation industry – the decline in passenger numbers, rising operating costs, the flu epidemic, etc.? 

A: We believe the recent commercial and financial figures for Turkish Airlines demonstrates the reflection of adopting correct business level strategies. However, we closely follow up our costs, check the efficiency of our processes and procedures and make sure that it complies perfectly well for maximising the utilisation of our passengers. On the other hand, we work closely with government agencies to take utmost cautions to avoid diseases including the flu epidemic   
Q: When do you see recovery for the global aviation industry?

We expect reductions in the negative consequences of the recent financial turmoil in the coming months, hoping that the fuel prices will continue to stay favorable for the industry.

Q: How are the code-sharing talks with Thai Airways progressing? How would the agreement benefit THAI, which does not fly to Turkey ?
The code-sharing negotiations are presently underway. I had a meeting with the new CEO of THAI Airways about many aspects of cooperation in the future a month ago when I visited your beautiful city, Bangkok . In terms of code sharing when we reach an agreement we will make a joint press briefing in Bangkok and announce that mutual benefits of that sort of agreement.

Corporate Contact:
THY Yönetim Binası,Tanıtma ve Halkla Ïliskiler Baskanlıgı, Atatürk Havalimanı Yesilköy – lSTANBUL
Tel: + 90 212-465 22 64 Fax: + 90 212-465-22 66
E-mail: kurumsaliletisim@thy.

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