Turkish Airlines plans to return to its earlier traffic achievement by 2018 recording a loss in 2016, with terrorism and political instability being the two main culprits. Bloomberg reported that the Chairman of the airline Ilker Ayci said that the Istanbul-based airline is confident to have a moderate increase in passenger traffic already in 2017.
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Last year Turkish Airlines reported a loss of 47 million lira (USD 13 million), marking the first deficit since 2000. It had booked a profit of 3 billion lira (USD 800.27 million) in 2015.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) has been one of the terrorist targets in 2016. In June, an attack in the airport killed 41 people. In addition, the economic sanctions by Russia have reportedly contributed to the traffic drop in Turkish aviation market in the first half of 2016.
Turkey’s Directorate General of State Airports Administration reported a decrease of 4% in the number of passengers using Turkish airports in 2016.
Previously, the flag carrier of Turkey has grounded around 30 aircraft and suspended 22 destinations in November 2016 due to a decrease of tourist flow. Ayci told Bloomberg that the airline will start bringing the grounded aircraft back into service around April 2017 when the booking rate jumped into 4.2% year over year.
The Chairman of the airline also confirmed that Turkish Airlines will invest up to USD 1.5 billion to move to Istanbul’s new airport, starting from 2018.