It is not as if it needs it, but tourism in Antalya is receiving a welcome boost after Turkish Airlines increased its flight schedule from 41 destinations including London.
The major hub, Turkey’s second most popular tourist destination now connects to 13 countries through Turkish Airlines flights, but they are not prepared to rest on their laurels yet because talks are still ongoing to join the Mediterranean hub with new destinations in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Azerbaijan.
In previous years, Antalya’s touristic demographics were Europeans, but through TA’s expansion program over the last ten years, it is now a multicultural hub with visitors from all over the world. Local governors praise the airline's new vision stating that as well as increasing tourists to the region, it gives them ideal opportunities to increase revenue.
For many decades, the area has been a popular travel destination. In 2018, the region hosted 12.4 million visitors in the city centre and smaller, surrounding coastal resorts like Side, Alanya, and Belek, Turkey’s golfing capital.
Three flights a week connect Antalya to the Jordanian capital of Amman, while five flights a week go to Kuwait. Turkish Airlines also plan to put on two weekly flights to Berlin and carry out marketing in 120 countries, but the jewel in the crown for them is London.
Previous activity has shown that London is one of the most significant contributors worldwide for sending tourists to Turkey and TA aim to put on five flights a week to cope with the demand. The current new schedule, departing and going to Gatwick, will continue throughout summer until October the 26, the last week of Turkey’s official tourism season.
In January, TA also launched new routes between London and Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The airline flies to five UK destinations including Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Gatwick, and Heathrow.
Turkey wants to expand its traditional tourist season from May to October, into a year-round industry providing additional income and jobs for the region.
Antalya, with its higher Mediterranean temperatures than the Aegean and Istanbul, could run a beach holiday season from March to November, and outside of these months, local travel agents promote skiing and city breaks.
This year, Turkish Airlines have boosted winter tourism in Antalya through flights from Russia, but future November to April schedules include Berlin in Germany, which is significant given that Germans contribute highly towards the travel industry.
Running its first flight in 1933, the airline flies to over 120 countries, and in 2018 boasted a 75.2 million passenger count. Their aim for 2019 is to transport 80 million flyers; 33 on domestic flights and 47 on international.
In 2019, Turkish Airlines took over Lufthansa as Europe’s largest airline for seat capacity. It is the third largest airline in Europe after Ryanair and EasyJet. The move from Ataturk airport to the New third Istanbul airport will help its global growth.