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Turkish Airlines to Launch Flights From Istanbul to Melbourne, Australia Beginning March 15

Turkish Airlines to Launch Flights From Istanbul to Melbourne, Australia Beginning March 15

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Turkish Airlines has formally announced the launch of its first flights to Australia, with a 3x weekly service between Istanbul and Melbourne via Singapore launching on March 15.

Flights went on sale on Friday and show Turkish Airlines flight TK168 departing Istanbul at 5:30 pm and arriving in Melbourne at 8:40 pm the following day.

Thankfully, rumours of an extended layover in Singapore have proved unfounded, and the plane will only remain on the ground for a refuelling and catering stop of one and a half hours before continuing onto the Victorian capital.

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with capacity for 300 passengers, including 30 Business Class seats and 270 Economy Class seats. Turkish Airlines does not offer a Premium Economy product.

The return flight will operate as TK169, leaving Melbourne at 10:30 pm and arriving in Istanbul at 11:30 am the following day. One way fares are currently selling for AU $1,810 in Economy and AU $9,400 in Business Class.

Airline chairman Dr Ahmet Bola announced Melbourne as the carrier’s 346th destination following months of speculation.

For now, Turkish Airlines will only fly to Melbourne, but direct flights to Sydney could follow in the near future. The Australian government recently gave Türkiye permission to operate up to 21 weekly flights to Sydney and Melbourne, as well as Brisbane and Perth.

From late 2024, the number of weekly flights allowed to fly to these cities will increase to 28 and by late 2025, up to 35 weekly flights will be allowed.

Last month, Turkish Airlines provided an update to the stock market confirming it intended to launch flights to Melbourne in March 2024 but provided scant other details about its plans.

At the time, it was believed that the carrier didn’t even have permission from Singaporean aviation authorities to operate so-called Fifth Freedom flights. Those details now appear to have finalised with the first flight now firmly on the horizon.

Turkish Airlines has operated ultra-long-range variants of the Airbus A350, which may make it possible for the airline to operate non-stop flights between Istanbul and Melbourne in the future.

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