After experiencing a decline in 2016 and 2017, experts are predicting a return to record-breaking figures for the UK – Turkey flight market in 2018. A report by Anna Aero, the Airline Network News and Analysis company forecast a 16% growth in weekly seat numbers for all flights between the UK and Turkey.
For many years, Turkey has been a favourite holiday destination of the Brits. The country also has a sizeable British expat population with many of them living in Turkish coastal resorts such as Didim and Bodrum.
The news will be welcomed by Turkish travel industry insiders who have suffered a drop-in tourism over the last two years because of security fears and a failed coup.
Seat capacity on UK – Turkey flights grew by a staggering 151% from 2008 to 2015. This coincided with record-breaking figures achieved by the Turkish tourism industry in general.
Available seat figures in 2015 totalled a staggering 6.5 million as the country of Turkey embarked on mass tourism campaigns to attract potential holidaymakers. However, the success wasn’t to last when falling demand in 2016 and 2017, saw the availability of seats drop by 19%.
Experts agree the failed coup had a minor impact on visitors figures as it was sharply stopped, and the country returned to normal within a brief period of time. The state of emergency that has been in effect since then rarely affects holidaymakers who are free to continue with their travel plans.
The general opinion was a state of terror attacks in 2016 heightened people’s fear of terrorism, and during this time, many other countries suffered a drop of tourists as well. During 2016, the attack on Istanbul Ataturk airport was particularly damaging to the industry.
However, after an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve in 2017, the Turkish government embarked on a mass security campaign that saw many arrests throughout the country. The result was that to the relief of many, Turkey didn’t suffer any more terror attacks in 2017, and consumer confidence returned.
During 2017, Turkish Airlines accounted for one-third of seats by serving Birmingham, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester from Istanbul Ataturk airport, that is the busiest in the country. This figure could change for 2018, with other airlines announcing additional routes and increased capacity.
This included Jet2 who nearly doubled their capacity to Turkey by focusing on Bodrum, Antalya and Dalaman airport, the three main tourist airports accounting for trade in all the coastal resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
The UK-Turkey flight market will be without Monarch Airlines in 2018 who ceased trading last year, but it looks like other airlines are eager to serve more passengers with the increased route and seat capacity.
Anna Aero report 31 new routes have been added to the UK – Turkey flight market for 2018, re-enforcing their belief that the Turkish tourism industry will once again, enjoy a profitable year.