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Turkish Airlines Profiting from Increased International Travel

A Turkish Airlines 787-9 at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

As the world moves past the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are back to making money again. Passengers are returning to the skies across the world eager to make up for lost time.

One such airline that has benefited from this pent-up demand is Turkish Airlines. The airline finished the second quarter of 2023 and has reported strong financials.

Growth in 2023

The airline saw total revenue reaching $5.1 billion, up 13.5 percent from the same time last year. Turkish Airlines also increased capacity to account for this increased demand and was flying with 28 percent higher capacity than in 2019 by growing the fleet by 10 percent. Overall, the airline surpassed its 2019 international capacity by 29 percent. Turkish Airlines currently operates a fleet of over 424 aircraft.

Loads appear healthy as well with a 81.5 percent domestic load factor and 81.8% international load factor in the second quarter. Looking at January to July, the total load factor was 82.3 percent, an increase of nearly 5% from the same period last year. This was further broken up with an international load factor of 82.2 percent and a domestic load factor of 83.2 percent.

From January to July of this year the airline carried 47.3 million passengers, a massive 22 percent jump from the same period of 2022.

A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Notable given that global airline capacity in the second quarter of this year is still 12 percent below what it was in 2019. Not all airlines have benefited equally from the return of passengers to the skies.

Cargo revenues did decrease significantly, 44 percent decrease year over year to $600 million. The airline attributes this to a slowing in global trade overall and the deadly earthquake earlier this year across Turkey and Syria. It is estimated that nearly 60,000 people perished and over 121,000 were injured. The earthquake caused massive damage to an area that accounts for over 9 percent of Türkiye’s global exports.

From January to July of this year cargo decreased nearly 8 percent to 890.3 thousand tons from 965.2 thousand tons the year prior.

Yields were acceptable as well with Turkish Airlines ending the quarter with a net profit of $635 million.

Turkish Airlines while doing well domestically is primarily seeing growth from the international side of operations. This makes sense given that the airline has the largest flight network of any airline in the world. The airline flies to hundreds of destinations in over one hundred different countries. Year to date the airline has seen a whopping 36 percent increase in international to international passengers, shuttling 16.7 million passengers across the world on its aircraft.

The airline will continue to grow as it seeks to expand further into markets and develop close partnerships with other airlines such as IndiGo.

Hemal Gosai


  • Hemal Gosai

    Hemal took his first flight at four years old and has been an avgeek since then. When he isn't working as an analyst he's frequently found outside watching planes fly overhead or flying in them. His favorite plane is the 747-8i which Lufthansa thankfully flies to EWR allowing for some great spotting. He firmly believes that the best way to fly between JFK and BOS is via DFW and is always willing to go for that extra elite qualifying mile.

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