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Turkish Airlines Formally Announces Launch of Australia Flights With Melbourne Picked as First Antipodean Destination

Turkish Airlines Formally Announces Launch of Australia Flights With Melbourne Picked as First Antipodean Destination

a white airplane on a runway

Turkish Airlines has formally announced its intention to launch flights to Melbourne as part of its highly anticipated entry into Australia later this year.

In an update to the Istanbul stock exchange, Turkish Airlines said late last week that it had “decided to start operating scheduled flights, based on market conditions, to Melbourne in Australia”.

The airline did not, however, provide any further details, including when it might launch flights, what its schedule might look like, or when tickets might go on sale. Turkish Airlines also did not comment on its plans for further expansion, such as launching flights to Sydney or Brisbane.

Chairman Ahmet Bolat told Turkish media outlets last month that he expected the airline to launch its inaugural flight to Australia at some point between March 15 and March 2024.

The carrier has not, however, filed any schedules or put flights on sale, and Singapore’s civil aviation authority has confirmed that Turkish Airlines is yet to apply for permission to operate so-called ‘Fifth Freedom’ flights from the city-state.

Turkish Airlines has said that it intends to operate it Australia flights via Singapore, but the airline first needs to seek approval from regulatory authorities in the country.

Australian regulators have approved Türkiye to initially operate up to 21 weekly flights to Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Brisbane and Perth. From late 2024, capacity will increase to 28 weekly flights and by late 2025, up to 35 weekly flights will be allowed.

It’s hoped that the arrival of Turkish Airlines into the Australian aviation market will help increase competition and drive down prices on key international routes. Australian lawmakers have been under pressure to bring down sky-high fares after refusing to give Qatar Airways greater access to the country.

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