On numerous occasions in recent months, Turkish Airlines has been acclaimed as the most active airline in Europe. Despite new Covid-waves and lockdowns, the airline frequently operated the most daily services both domestic and internationally, Eurocontrol said. It is reflected in its Q1 results that were announced on May 4: busy Turkish produces a small profit at $61 million against a $-327 million loss for the same quarter last year.

The operating result still produced a loss of $72 million compared to $300 million last year. Revenues were down by 29.1 percent to $1.796 billion. With passenger numbers halved to 6.4 million, revenues suffered too at -54.9 percent to $901 million. But like other airlines, cargo got a huge boost at +76.8 percent to $824 million. Per ton, revenues were 55 percent higher compared to last year. It helped Turkish to capture an additional market share from 4.7 to 5.2 percent.
Revenues per seat kilometer were positive on operations to most regions, with 19 percent to the Far East, Africa at 16.1 percent, and 13.9 percent to Europe. Only the Americas produced a negative RASK at -0.5 percent.

Fewer operations resulted in lower expenses of 34.1 percent to $1.868 billion, but labor costs were also reduced after the airline negotiated salary reductions with unions. Turkish also benefitted from discounts on state-run airports and at the new Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport, which continues into 2022. The deprecation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar had a slightly positive effect.

Network to increase again to 236 destinations

Busy Turkish Airlines continues to build its network out of the new Istanbul airport. In May, the number of destinations will grow from 224 to 236. It ranks the highest on origin and destination flights to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with a seventeen percent share to Africa. The cargo network includes 94 destinations served by 25 freighters, including ten wet-leased aircraft.

Turkish’s fleet stood at 362 aircraft by the end of Q1. It took delivery of two Airbus A350s this quarter. The airline revised its order for the Boeing MAX. Of the original number agreed in 2013, it has canceled ten and changed forty from firm to options until December 21, 2021, when it has to decide whether to take up the options or not. The airline has twelve MAX -8s in its fleet, but deliveries of the remaining thirteen have been rescheduled to a later date “in line with the operational and financial of our corporation.”

Total liabilities and shareholders equity stand at $25.3 billion. Turkish has $1.779 billion in cash and equivalents.

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Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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