In what was regarded as a response to last week's reports that the carrier could be “growing too fast,” Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) CEO Temel Kotil told Today's Zaman in Bursa on Saturday that the company carried no such concerns.
“There is still a huge potential in global aviation markets from which we can take larger shares than we currently have. Besides, the company is increasing its appeal to more customers every passing year,” he asserted. Kotil's remarks come amid comments in both local and foreign media sources that the carrier would see its net profits crimped in face of an “overheating.” “We are expecting to increase our profits to $7.8 billion this year, a 30 percent rise over the preceding year. The annual global aviation profit potential stands at $500 billion and we aspire to cut a larger piece from this pie,” said Kotil.
While adding new destinations and increasing the number of passengers rapidly, THY increased its revenue by 35 percent in the first nine months of 2011 over the same period in 2010. But the company is not satisfied yet. Kotil says THY will intensify its quest to expand in European markets and that mergers and acquisitions could possibly be a part of this plan. “The possibility is there. … We are studying potential opportunities to either acquire or merge with a European carrier,” said Kotil. THY flew the third-largest number of passengers in Europe in the first two months of this year. Europe will remain THY's main focus for growth in foreign markets, Kotil said, adding that they soon expect to commence flights to their ninth destination in Russia.
THY flies passengers to most destinations from İstanbul Atatürk Airport in Europe. The carrier operates 5,107 weekly flights to 187 domestic and international destinations. The number of passengers flown by the national carrier increased by 11 percent to reach 24.3 million in the first three quarters of last year, as compared to the same months in 2010.