Direct flights between Manila and Instanbul take off

April 1, 2015 5:55 am 

MANILA, March 31 — A new direct, thrice-weekly service between Istanbul and Manila was kicked off by Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines this week, granting Turkish carriers three frequencies per week to Manila and Clark.

These new flights were launched following the signing of an expanded air services agreement between the Philippines and Turkey in November 2014.

Scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, the flights are seen to serve growing two-way tourist arrivals between the two countries.

The airline will be using Airbus A340s in its flights to and from Manila.

Turkish Airlines Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil in a statement expected to leverage on renewed global interest in the Philippines.

“We are very excited to bring our renowned inflight services to Filipinos, and we hope that our new flights to Manila will boost trade between our two countries,” Kotil said.

Kotil also cited that the Philippines has posted one of the world’s most impressive economic growths in recent years allowing the airlines to see opportunities in expanding air travel services in the country.

He further said that the airline is targeting businessmen, tourists, and transit passengers, who prefer to use Turket as a jump-off point to Europe.

Turkish Airlines General Manager for the Philippines Erhan Balaban for his part expressed eagerness on tourism prospects between the two countries.

“Many are eager to discover the Philippines’ world-famous beaches, while there are historic sites in Turkey and Europe that Filipinos would love to see,” he said.

Data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed that a total of 3,731 tourists from Turkey visited the Philippines in 2013, a 19-percent increase from 2012.

On the other hand, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism recorded 3,581 tourists from the Philippines in 2014.

With over 260 destinations in 108 countries, Turkish Airlines operates the world’s fourth largest flight network. It flew more than 54 million passengers in 2014. (PNA)

FPV/ANP

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