Turkish Airlines Wants to Expand to Charlotte as Part of US Growth Plan, Reports Say

June 17, 2024

Turkish Airlines wants to expand service to Charlotte and several other U.S. cities, according to aviation trade publications.

The Istanbul-based company just expanded its network with a new Denver route this week, its 14th U.S. destination. Chairman Ahmet Bolat said the airline wants to add Charlotte, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Orlando, Florida, as well, according to a post from Airways Magazine on X, formerly Twitter.

Turkish Airlines would now like to have 20 U.S. destinations, including Charlotte, Travel Weekly reported. Bolat did not cite a timeframe for coming to Charlotte or other cities, or where the airline would next expand, Travel Weekly said.

If plans ultimately are finalized for Charlotte, Turkish Airlines would be the sixth carrier based outside the U.S. with service at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the airport’s website. The others are Air Canada ( Montreal, Canada), Lufthansa ( Cologne, Germany), Swiftair ( Madrid), Viva Aerobus ( Ciudad Apodaca, Mexico) and Volaris ( Mexico City).

In a statement, Charlotte Douglas declined to say whether it was in discussions with Turkish Airlines, but said it regularly promotes CLT to other airlines.

Turkish Airlines did not respond to requests for comment about its Charlotte plans Thursday from The Charlotte Observer.

About Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines was established in 1933 with five planes and 30 employees. Today, the company has flights to 120 countries, 300 destinations and operates more than 450 aircraft.

The airline says it flies to more countries than any of its competitors.

In Denver, the Turkish Airlines service to Istanbul will have an estimated economic impact for the state of more than $54 million and support creating approximately 350 jobs across the state, according to a news release from the city’s airport.

The first U.S. flight for Turkish Airlines was to New York in 1988, via Brussels, with direct flights starting six years later.

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