Turkish Airlines is looking to increase its frequencies from Istanbul to Indonesia via Jakarta and Bali, as well as the possibility of a third city.
Speaking to the media during a dinner in Jakarta last week, the airline’s chairman of the board and executive committee, Ahmet Bolad shared that around 150,000 travellers arrived in Istanbul last year.
He said: “We currently have 14 flights – nine to Jakarta and five to Bali – per week and the seat load factor on both is (at) 90 per cent. Looking at the potential here, Indonesia is underserved. We want to increase our Jakarta services to (twice) daily, increase the frequency to Bali, and if possible, (to) add a third destination.”
Discussions with the Indonesia Ministry of Transportation for more co-operations are currently ongoing.
Bolad explained that Istanbul is a beautiful city to visit, and is also a strategic hub to Turkish Airlines’ network of flights to over 300 destinations in more than 120 countries.
Indonesia shares a similar history and culture with Turkey, based on its huge population of which a majority are Muslim.
The airline flies to 47 destinations in 22 countries in the East Asia and South-east Asia regions, of which makes up almost a quarter of their revenue, he commented.
“All industry projections point to a shift in the axis of aviation towards the East in the near future. As one of the leading countries in South-east Asia, I believe the Indonesians will play a key role in our future,” he said, adding that this will be beneficial for both countries’ inbound markets.
Nia Niscaya, deputy for strategic policies, Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, remarked that accessibility was a key factor in tourism and she appreciated the contribution of the airline to connect the world with Indonesia, particularly Bali.
“Last year, total visitor arrivals to Indonesia increased by 251 per cent compared to 2021, and in January 2023, the number has reached around 700,000 arrivals, a (five-fold) growth over the same period last year. I believe that Turkish Airlines has contributed to this huge growth,” she said.
Among the promotions presented during the dinner was a five-night Connect to Istanbul in Ramadhan package and medical tourism.
Bolad noted: “I heard that Turkish movies are popular here. We have a package bringing travellers to learn Turkish and watch movies. Turkey is also a destination to study – there are 350,000 foreign students, including (those) from Indonesia.”
He shared that the airline has plans in the near future to visit Indonesia again and showcase the opportunities for university education in Turkey.