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21 May 2024, 09:07

Turkish Airlines celebrates 91st anniversary


ISTANBUL, 21 May (BelTA - Anadolu) - Turkish Airlines celebrated its 91st anniversary on Monday, continuing its legacy of flying to the most countries worldwide with up to 350 destinations.

Türkiye’s flag carrier was founded on May 20, 1933, with only five aircraft, and 24 staff members, including seven pilots.

The number of aircraft went up by one in the next year, with a passenger capacity of 64.

Türkiye’s first international flight took off in 1947 from Istanbul to Athens.

New international destinations were added in 1951, including Lefkosa, Beirut, and Cairo, with a fleet of 33 aircraft.

In 1956, Turkish Airlines joined IATA, the global trade association airlines.

The airline added five Viscount 794 aircraft to its fleet, ushering in a new era of Turkish aviation history as the airline switched from piston-powered engines to jet engines.

The corporate logo, of Turkish Airlines, designed by Mesut Manioglu in 1959, was inspired by the wild goose, known to make intercontinental flights at altitudes of 9,000 meters and up.

The employees of the flag carrier increased from a measly 30 to over 4,000 in 40 years.

By its 50th anniversary in 1983, Turkish Airlines was carrying 2.5 million passengers every year in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia.

A new brand for cargo transportation was established within Turkish Airlines, called Turkish Cargo, at the beginning of 2000.

Domestic flights by Turkish Airlines from Sabiha Gokcen Airport were launched in 2005.

The international airline rating firm Skytrax raised the stars awarded to Turkish Airlines to four in 2007.

AnadoluJet, the sub-brand of Turkish Airlines based in Sabiha Gokcen Airport, started flights in 2008.

Skytrax chose Turkish Airlines as Europe’s best airline in 2011.

Turkish Airlines flies to most countries worldwide

Turkish Airlines became the airline flying to the most countries worldwide in 2012, reaching 200 destinations, and Skytrax recognized the flag carrier airline’s efforts and rewarded it with awards of “Best Airline in Europe,” and “Best Business Class Catering.”

The number of destinations of Turkish Airlines reached 264 in 2014, becoming the world’s fourth most-reaching airline.

As Turkish Airlines hosted 500 million passengers by 2015, Skytrax named the flag carrier Europe’s Best Airline for the fifth consecutive time, and continued doing so in 2016 and 2017, as well.

Turkish Airlines carried 750 million passengers across the skies by 2018.

The flag carrier changed its uniforms for staff as it moved to Istanbul Airport in 2018.

Turkish Airlines became the world’s 10th largest airline with a fleet of 350 aircraft in 2019.

Türkiye’s flag carrier airline received the APEX World Class Award in 2021, which was the first time an airline received the award.

Turkish Airlines saw its billionth passenger carried by April 2023, and it was awarded the APEX 5-Star Global Airline award.

While Turkish Airlines had only 65 aircraft in 2002, the number increased to 100 in 2006, 200 in 2012, 300 in 2016, and 456 in 2024.

The flag carrier airline aims to have the youngest and the most modern fleet in all of Europe. 
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