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Turkish Airlines Starts Service to Xi’an, China

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 resting at the gate. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Peter Weiland)

On Dec. 30 2019, Turkish Airlines officially added Xi’an in China to its list of destinations following its inaugural service to the city.

Xi’an becomes the Star Alliance carrier’s fourth destination in mainland China and its 318th worldwide. The city benefits from three flights per week from the airline’s main hub in Istanbul — operated by the carrier’s Airbus A330 aircraft, configured with Business and Economy classes seating 250 passengers.

TK 196 — the outbound service to Xi’an — leaves Istanbul early on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:55 a.m. for a landing into Xianyang International Airport at 4:10 p.m. the same day. TK 197 returns the next day after over eight hours on the ground with a scheduled departure time of 12:35 a.m., landing into Istanbul at 6:10 a.m.

Turkish Airlines started flying to the People’s Republic of China in 1999 with service to Beijing. This new route to Xi’an is said to reinforce the carrier’s position in Asia and means that the airline’s flight network encompasses the entirety of the historic Silk Road trading network, allowing it to operate in the sky through Turkish’s air cargo operations.

During the ceremony held for the inaugural flight, the General Manager of Turkish Airlines – Bilal Ekşi – said: “We conclude the year by adding a very special city to our flight network after numerous innovations in various areas and the move to our new home that took place during 2019.”

Turkish Airlines will now connect Xi’an to 125 other countries through its hub in Istanbul. This new link to Xi’an reinforces Istanbul as a global hub as it best connects more parts of China with the rest of the world as Turkish serve more countries than any other airline and is a part of the Star Alliance network.

Xi’an is said to be one of the world’s oldest civilizations in the world with an age of over 3,000 years. The city served as China’s capital during 13 historical dynasties. Two million tourists are attracted to Xi’an’s Terracotta Army each year, often considered the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Connor Sadler
Latest posts by Connor Sadler (see all)


  • Connor Sadler

    Connor has been in love with flying since the first time he boarded a plane when he was 5 years old. He loves all things aviation, and he hopes to make that his full time career in the future.

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