Melbourne will join one of the largest airline networks in the world when Turkish Airlines begins flights from Istanbul in March.
Turkey’s national carrier has confirmed it has chosen the Victorian capital to launch its first ever flights to Australia.
The service will initially operate three times a week via Singapore, with the airline planning to fly directly between Istanbul and Melbourne upon the purchase of new aircraft with the capability to do so.
Turkish Airlines already flies to the most countries of any carrier in the world, including an extensive network through Europe and Africa. It will become the only European airline to fly to Melbourne.
“Istanbul is the only city to straddle two continents and has always been an important trading post, but it is now also one of the most important transit hubs in the world,” said Jim Parashos, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Turkish Airlines to Melbourne, not only because of its world-renowned hospitality, but also because of the new possibilities it enables for travellers.
“Turkey is already a popular holiday destination, but we expect these new flights will encourage more Australians to explore what the country has to offer, while also enticing more people to visit our incredible part of the world.”
The first flight from Istanbul is due to arrive in Melbourne on March 16.
“Negotiations to win the right to these direct services from Istanbul to Australia has been a hotly contested battle between the nation’s two prominent gateway cities and the decision by Turkish Airlines to launch their first ever flights to Australia with direct services to Melbourne is a strong reflection of their confidence in our destination to be a viable and successful partner in this corner of the globe,” said Felicia Mariani, Victoria Tourism Industry Council CEO.
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