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Turkish Airlines (also known as THY) is the national flag carrier of Turkey, operating scheduled services to over 200 domestic and international airports. With headquarters in Istanbul and flying to more than 243 destinations in Africa, Europe, Asia and both North and South America, Turkish Airlines is currently the 4th largest airlines in the world, based on the number of destinations it flies to.
Turkish Airlines has been a member of the international Star Alliance since 2008. The airline also won the Best European Airline award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Being selected as the official carrier airline of some of Europe's leading football clubs, including Aston Villa and Olympique de Marseilles, has seen the brand become associated with prominent football personalities such s Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney.
(You can check out Turkish Airlines' Selfie Shootout advertising campaign below - featuring Messi and Rooney in action around the world:
The airline has also entered sponsorships with Kobe Bryant, actor Kevin Costner and Caroline Wozniacki. Turkish Airlines has also been the headline sponsor of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague since 2010, and also co-sponsored the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
While the airline was founded in 1933, it was only really as of 1983, when a new Turkish Government came into power, that the importance of Turkish Airline as an ambassador brand to the world was full recognised and prioritised. The airline's repositioning and modernisation started from this point onwards.
Ongoing fleet upgrades has given Turkish Airlines one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world, and security was stepped up significantly. During 1984, an industry leading technical centre was also added to the airlines infrastructure.
Turkish Airlines recorded significant losses during the regional airline crisis resulting from the Gulf War, and would only start breaking even again upon the airline's expansion in the North American market.
During the 2000s, Turkish Airlines would continue expanding their international footprint, while also entering marketing agreements with the likes of Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines in 2000.
Turkey's economic crisis and the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre caused further economic pressure on the airline, and in 2003 the war in Iraq saw the airlines closing off some regional routes around the Persian Gulf.
The airline managed to recover from all these setbacks, and have since gone from strength to strength as a respected international airlines brand.
The airline increased its fleet even further in 2004, investing around 2.8 billion dollars on a fleet comprising Airbuses and Boeing 737s. In addition, the airline also invested 350 million dollars on a new training and technical facility at a secondary, underutilised airport in Istanbul.
The Turkish Airlines Loyalty Programme, Miles&Smiles, offers frequent fliers the ability to spend their earned miles with Lufthansa or with any other members of the Star Alliance Network. For more information and the latest Turkish Airlines specials, visit www.turkishairlines.com.