Boston will be more firmly connected to the global economy next May when Turkish Airlines begins offering the first nonstop service from Boston Logan International Airport to Istanbul, Turkey with convenient connections to 236 global destinations, including cities in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, and more countries compared to any other airline.
Massport, which owns and operates Boston Logan, estimates that more than $305 million in ticket sales were generated in 2012 by more than 450,000 passengers traveling between Boston and the top 50 international destinations, which are also accessible through Turkish Airlines’ main hub at Ataturk International Airport.
“In order to position ourselves for success, we must give our businesses greater opportunities to compete in the 21st century global marketplace,’’ said Gov. Deval Patrick. “A nonstop flight from Boston to Istanbul will drive tourism, job growth and catalyze international investment.’’
Turkish Airlines, recently voted Europe’s Best Airline at the 2013 Skytrax Passengers Choice Awards for the third consecutive year, will use a 289-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the route and will begin flying out of Boston five days a week starting May 12, 2014. The service will increase to daily flights on June 9, 2014.
“We are proud to announce our latest partnership with Boston, one of the most historic cities in the U.S.” said Temel Kotil, Ph.D., CEO of Turkish Airlines. “Our hope is that these new flights will not only make travel more convenient between Boston and Istanbul, but that they will also facilitate economic and cultural opportunities for both cities. We are thrilled to add Boston as our sixth U.S. gateway as we continue to expand our services throughout the U.S.’’
Massport competes with airports around the globe for new international service. Turkish Airlines was considering several other airports to become its sixth U.S. destination but ended up selecting Logan.
“Our new partnership with Turkish Airlines grows the global reach of Boston and Logan by opening up new important routes and feeding the state’s booming travel and tourism sector,’’ said Thomas P. Glynn, Massport’s CEO. “Massport’s International Incentive program and the willingness of local political, civic and business leaders to meet with airlines helps us tremendously as we expand Logan’s international routes.’’
Turkish Airlines’ service falls under Massport’s International Air Service Incentive Program, which applies to new nonstop international service to destinations in Asia, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. The incentive program includes landing fee credits and joint advertising opportunities. Massport’s action is not designed to subsidize a service that is not likely to be self-sufficient, but to help minimize the initial business risk of the air carrier. In doing so, Massport also expects to improve utilization of Boston Logan’s Terminal E, as Asia, Latin America and Middle East flights would operate during current off-peak hours. Massport is undertaking the program to compete with other airports around the country, most of which offer some type of financial incentive to attract new international air service. Most recently, Japan Airlines in 2012 and Copa Airlines in 2013 qualified for the program by offering new nonstop service to Tokyo and Panama City respectively.
"This new flight means more visitors to Massachusetts - and that means more revenue to the Commonwealth’s economy,’’ said Betsy Wall, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
Pat Moscaritolo, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, concurred, saying “"Massport convincing Turkish Airlines to add Boston to its route network is a big win for Boston and New England's visitor industry and our regional economy. This new nonstop and seamless connecting service means we'll see more visitors and more spending from parts of the world that have had in the past difficulty in getting to Boston and many times decided to go to other US cities.’’
Today, passengers at Logan can take nonstop flights to 28 international cities.
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