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June 15, 2024
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Turkish Airlines built on its strong results in 2022 by announcing another increase in its net profit in Q1 2023. Turkish reported a $233 million net profit, up from $161 million a year earlier. The airline operated at higher international capacity levels than its competitors which surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Turkish Airlines Q1 results exceed those of 2019.

Revenues were $4.353 billion, up from $3.051 billion in Q1 2022 or $2.768 billion in Q1 2019. Of this, $3.648 billion came from 17.1 million passengers carried, up from 12.7 million. Cargo revenues were significantly down to $591 million from $980 million and reached their lowest level since the pandemic.

Expenses were $3.705 billion, up from $2.539 billion, of which $2.85 billion was from fuel. EBITDAR was $769 million versus $710 million, and the operating profit was $241 million versus $181 million. Turkish realized a $190 million one-off profit from main operations from donations and costs covered for humanitarian flights to the regions that were struck by the heavy earthquakes in February.

Capacity 21 percent higher than in Q1 2019

Turkish grew capacity (available seat kilometers) to 51.8 billion, up from 38.8 billion in Q1 last year but 21 percent higher than 42.7 billion in the same quarter of 2019. Until this 121 percent capacity versus 2019, 116 percent in Q3 2022 was the highest level since the pandemic. International capacity reached 127 percent in January and 123 percent in February, well above the 91/92 percent that European IATA carriers produced.

Turkish Airlines also processed more international passengers at its main hubs in Istanbul than ever since the pandemic, with levels 25 percent higher compared to Q1 2019. Although at its lowest level since Q1 2022, the number of international passengers that had Turkey as their destination was thirteen percent over 2019 levels. Demand was the strongest in Europe, but the Far East caught up rapidly and growth outpaced that of North America.

Outlook for 2023

In its outlook for 2023, Turkish Airlines expects to grow capacity by fifteen to twenty percent over 2022 by operating to 342 destinations in 129 countries. The airline already opened new services to Lusaka and Krakow and will soon add Palermo, Detroit, and Osaka to the network. The fleet will grow from 414 in May to 435 by the end of the year. Costs per available seat kilometer (CASK) ex-fuel will be up by a mid-single digit amount compared to 2022, but the airline group will continue to pursue initiatives to keep costs down. Turkish recently announced its long-term strategy to double in size in ten years through 2033.

The airline group ended Q1 with $5.3 billion in liquidity and a net debt of $8.4 billion. 

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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