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Turkish Airlines looking to increase SA traffic

Nov 11 2016 17:24
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Most passengers using Turkish Airlines to visit South Africa are actually not directly from Turkey, according to Kenan Ince, Turkish Airlines' general manager in Cape Town.

Most tend to be from the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Turkey and Israel. Turkish Airlines currently operates seven flights weekly between Istanbul and Cape Town. Additionally, it flies seven weekly flights between Istanbul and Johannesburg, with four of them carrying on to Durban as tagged flights.

"There are around 12 000 people who come to South Africa every year from Turkey, but we are looking to increase that to 15 000 - or by 25% -  in 2017," Ince responded to Fin24.

Due to a substantial demand from the market Turkish Airlines tested a direct flight between Cape Town and Istanbul last year between November and March, adding to its existing route between Johannesburg and Istanbul.

In that time it increased its passenger count on the route by 60%. That is why it took a decision to extend the direct flight to Cape Town all year round. Cape Town’s profile as a premium tourist destination is helping greatly, said Ince.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly, the popular months for Cape Town and South Africa are the warmest months, which are also the coldest in the northern hemisphere - November to April. Cape Town has a mild climate all year round, so opportunities exist in low season for trips with added value such as accommodation specials," he explained.

"Cape Town has a number of initiatives offering attractive out-of-season packages and this encourages us in our decision to extend flights all year round. Turkey has also grown in popularity as a destination for South Africans, and the direct flights from Cape Town have facilitated this growth."

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