The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be deployed on the flights if they are approved by the Australian government.
Turkish Airlines is moving forward in its decision to offer flights to Australia. The airline has submitted its application to the country’s Transport Minister, requesting to begin flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
With regulatory approval, the airline could reportedly be granted more than five weekly roundtrip flights between Turkey and Australia. The carrier hopes to begin the service by the end of the year.
According to Sky News, Australia’s Transport Minister Catherine King confirmed that she received the application from Turkish Airlines for flights to Sydney and Melbourne. If approved, the airline would be able to fly to Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport and Melbourne Airport within the next year.
n July, ch-aviation reported that the carrier had plans to launch tri-weekly flights to Australia via Changi Airport in Singapore. Due to the current bilateral air services agreement between Turkey and Australia, Turkish Airlines is provided with up to seven flights per week between the two countries. But, that number does not seem enough as the carrier’s CEO Ahmet Bolat hoped the weekly roundtrip flights would be doubled to 14.
Additionally, Bolat reportedly wants to sell tickets on flights between Australia and Singapore, thanks to fifth freedom rights. Otherwise, the CEO believes the planned service would not be economically successful.
In an exclusive interview with the Executive Traveller, Turkish Airlines confirmed that flights would begin in mid-December. While not disclosing specifics, Bolat mentioned that the carrier was working through “some legal issues” but explained that “both countries are working on it.”
The CEO said the airline is planning to operate the route with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and has future intentions to boost frequencies to five flights per week. With its strategic target, Turkish Airlines hopes to increase frequencies to daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne, but it could be a while before that happens.
“The way that we will do it will [be to] compete daily in the city that we selected, (and) then we’ll go to another city,” Bolat said to the Executive traveler. That process could reportedly take two years.
Turkish Airlines already operates daily flights to Singapore from Istanbul on the 777-300ER, with flights arriving and departing at Terminal 1 at Changi Airport, the same terminal that Qantas and Emirates operate from.
Including the stopover, the travel time between Sydney and Melbourne to Istanbul would be around 21 hours. Turkish Airlines’ 787-9s are each equipped with 30 flatbed business class seats configured in the same design seen on Singapore Airlines Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-10s, according to the Executive Traveller.
Qantas is unopposed to Turkish Airlines’ application to begin flights. The Australian flag carrier reportedly decided not to oppose the request after receiving backlash from not supporting Qatar’s bid to start flying to the country.
In addition to being in hot water over other matters, Qantas is now involved in a Senate committee inquiry following its decision to block Qatar, according to Sky News.