Turkey – Italian low-cost airline optimistic on Turkey

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 28/04/2010
Turkey – Italian low-cost airline optimistic on Turkey

Blue Express Airlines, an Italian low-cost carrier, has launched flights to Turkey for 70 euros, including taxes.

Having launched Rome flights in December, the firm started Milan-Istanbul flights as of March 28. Rome-Istanbul flight was introduced to press members and a group of Turkish travel agencies and tour operators with a trip.

Turkey is a very interesting market, said Giovanni Todini, the firm’s press and public relations manager. “We started Rome flights three months ago. The figures we have attained have satisfied us. Therefore we have decided on Milan-Istanbul route as the secondary destination.”

Noting that the firm aimed at surpassing 20,000 passengers with its Roma-Istanbul route, and attained this figure in a short while, he said, “We expect the market to grow further. At present our aircraft fly with an occupancy rate of 70 percent. Turkish passengers constitute 40 percent of this rate.”

Blue Express, which started services in 2005 as the low-cost brand of Blue Panorama Airlines, flies from Rome and Milan to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport with Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft. The firm organizes six flights a week on Rome-Istanbul and Milan-Istanbul routes.

The company does not give a seat number during check-in in order to save time. Passengers queue early to have the seats they want, a system that the firm says prevents delays.

The company addresses passengers with both business and holiday purposes, said Todini. “Istanbul is an incredible city with both European and Eastern attractions. It is a very attractive holiday destination for Italians. Many Italians prefer Istanbul for summer holidays… It is also and advantage that Turkish people resemble Italians. Moreover, Istanbul is not as expensive as Italy, which is a fact that draws many Italians for shopping.”

Rome and Italian market is always a charming tourism and business destination for Turks, according to Turkish agency representatives, who expect the Blue Express flights to draw further Turkish citizens to Italy.

28/04/2010 Source Hurriyet Daily News (Dogan News Agency)

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