Is Turkish Airlines Poised to Dominate Global Aviation by 2033?

Abhishek Nayar

09 Apr 2024

In the dynamic landscape of global aviation, identifying the epicenter of this thriving industry can be a contentious task. While various regions have vied for this distinction over time, the Asia-Pacific region has emerged as a frontrunner, driven by substantial demand, particularly propelled by the resurgence of major Chinese carriers. However, amidst this global competition, one individual entity, Turkish Airlines, has been steadily carving its path to dominance.

Istanbul: The Nexus of Aviation

Nestled at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Istanbul stands as a pivotal hub for international air travel. With its strategic location, the city serves as a natural conduit for passengers and cargo alike. At the heart of Istanbul's aviation dominance lies Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey and one of the most globally connected airlines in the world.

Turkish Airlines: A Trailblazer in Ambition and Connectivity

Turkish Airlines' ascendancy to the forefront of commercial aviation is underscored by its remarkable growth trajectory. In 2023, the airline shattered records by carrying a staggering 83.4 million passengers, marking a 16% increase compared to the previous year. This feat not only surpassed its previous high but also outpaced industry peers in capacity expansion.

Navigating Through Turbulent Times, Financial Fortitude and Operational Excellence

Amidst the challenging backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkish Airlines exhibited resilience and agility. Leveraging its extensive flight network and a highly skilled workforce, the airline managed to navigate through turbulent times, surpassing pre-pandemic capacity levels by an impressive 27%.

The financial prowess of Turkish Airlines is equally commendable. In 2023, the airline reported revenue of $20.94 billion, with an operating profit of $2.86 billion. Furthermore, astute investment activities bolstered the total operating profit to $3.96 billion, culminating in a net profit of $6 billion.

Cargo Capabilities, Global Reach and Ambitious Goals

Turkish Airlines' dominance extends beyond passenger services, as it emerges as one of the world's leading air cargo operators. With a fleet comprising 24 freighters and 416 passenger aircraft, the airline significantly augmented its freight ton kilometers by 16% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Buoyed by its resounding success, Turkish Airlines has set ambitious targets for the future. The airline aims to expand its fleet to a staggering 800 aircraft by 2033, adding 360 net aircraft over the next decade. Additionally, Turkish Airlines envisions boosting its revenue to over $50 billion by 2033, with a projected passenger count surpassing 170 million.

Aircraft Fleet and Expansion Plans

Turkish Airlines' ambitious expansion plans are underscored by its diverse and modern fleet. The airline's fleet includes a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, catering to both short and long-haul routes. Notably, Turkish Airlines has committed to incorporating cutting-edge Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners into its fleet, ensuring operational efficiency and passenger comfort.

Conclusion: A Force to be Reckoned With

As Turkish Airlines charts its course towards 2033, its trajectory seems set to redefine the global aviation landscape. With a strategic hub in Istanbul, a relentless pursuit of innovation, and ambitious growth targets, Turkish Airlines is poised to solidify its position as a dominant force in the skies. As the world eagerly watches its ascent, one cannot help but wonder: Is Turkish Airlines on the brink of revolutionizing global aviation?

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IndiGo Expands Nashik, Kochi, and Agatti Presence

Preet Palash

08 Apr 2024

IndiGo expands Nashik, Kochi, and Agatti presence

Nashik is considered the wine capital of India while Agatti with its Maldives-like beaches has been gaining a lot of traction with tourists

IndiGo has announced daily direct flights between Delhi and Nashik as well as three new routes between Kozhikode-Kochi, Kochi-Agatti and Kozhikode-Agatti via Kochi, the airline said in a statement.

These flights begin on May 1st.

Vinay Malhotra, Head of Global Sales, IndiGo, said, “We are pleased to announce direct connectivity from Nashik, Maharashtra to Delhi. We have been witnessing an increasing demand for travel to and from Nashik, known for its unique heritage and religious landmarks. This route would contribute towards enhanced travel, tourism, and trade in the region. It will also further ease accessibility from the regional hub to the capital of India and beyond, through our extensive domestic and international network from Delhi. As India’s leading carrier, we continue to deliver on our promise of affordable, on-time, courteous, and hassle-free travel experience across an unparalleled network.”

Situated on the banks of the Godavari River, Nashik is an ancient city in the northwest region of Maharashtra. It is the third largest city in the state and is also recognised as the "Wine Capital of India" due to its abundance of vineyards and wineries.

Agatti island is a 6 km long land terrain blessed with aquatic diversity. Home to the archipelago's only airstrip, it connects Lakshadweep to the rest of India and the world. Agatti is popular amongst those looking for a bit of deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sailing, skiing, and kayaking.

“We are pleased to announce these three new routes bolstering our connectivity with the scenic Agatti island in Lakshadweep, the latest addition to the 6E network. These routes will not only enhance accessibility to/from Kerala and beyond but with the upcoming summer holiday season, will also significantly contribute to travel, tourism, and trade in the region. As India’s leading carrier, we remain committed to delivering on our promise of providing affordable, on-time, courteous, and hassle-free travel experiences,” Malhotra added.

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Most Pilots have Signed New Contracts says Vistara CEO

Preet Palash

08 Apr 2024

Nearly 98% of Vistara’s pilots have signed the new contract and the airline will be able to stabilise its operations soon, its CEO Vinod Kannan has said.

Pilots have been upset over the new contracts they are being made to sign as Vistara merges with Air India. They say it will reduce their pay. Some of them have reported sick leading to dozens of flight cancellations in the past two weeks.

“In the light of the recent disruptions in our network owing to various operational reasons, we acknowledge and are deeply concerned about the inconvenience this has caused to our customers. We would like to again clarify that these disruptions were due to the cascading effect of a multitude of factors. While we do have adequate crew for normal operations, since we have been operating on a high utilisation, we were challenged due to operational disruption,” Kannan said in a statement.

Vistara said it acknowledges the inconvenience this has caused to customers and sincerely apologises to them for the same.

“We are addressing this on a war footing. Hence, we are continuing to hire more pilots and are also carefully scaling back our operations slightly to provide the much needed resilience, and a buffer in the rosters. We have also deployed larger aircraft like our B787-9 Dreamliner and A321neo aircraft on select domestic routes to accommodate more customers, wherever possible. Furthermore, we are reaching out to all customers affected by the delays and cancellations over the last weekend, to offer relevant refunds and compensation,” Kannan added.

The situation has already improved with on-time performance improving for the last three days and the airline hopes to stabilize its operations for the rest of April 2024 by this weekend, the airline noted.

“With reference to concerns being raised regarding the new pay structure of our pilots, we would like to clarify that over 98% of pilots have signed the new contract. Having said that, we are aware that some pilots have some concerns and queries regarding the contract. We are engaging with them to clarify and resolve the same. However, this has not caused any visible spike in attrition amongst pilots,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked Vistara to submit daily reports about flight operations and to follow the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) on passenger amenities.

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Increments Soon, Air India CEO Tells Staff

Preet Palash

08 Apr 2024

Nearly 4000 cabin crew have also been hired since privatization 

Air India will soon offer increments to employees as part of the annual appraisal cycle Air India chief Campbell Wilson said in a letter to employees last week.

"The end of the Financial Year also caps off the annual appraisal cycle which has been underway for some time, as well as allows us to tally our annual financial results. Our Finance and HR colleagues are busy compiling the numbers which will, amongst other things, determine increments and, once the counting, reporting, auditing and board approvals are complete in a few weeks’ time, we’ll share the news and ensure that changes are made effective from 1st April. Please bear with us whilst this important but necessary process runs its course," he said in his note of Friday.

The privatization of Air India was completed on January 27, 2022, when it moved to Tata Group away from state control.

The CEO said the airline has also relaunched a loyalty programme that will help retain customers.

"The new Flying Returns has been benchmarked to the best programs in the world and includes dozens of changes and improvements, including moving from a miles-based system to one based on spend, more redemption access, the ability to pooling miles with family members and the ability to combine miles with cash to make redemption easier, amongst much else. This is a huge leap forward for our customer proposition and, together with the many improvements we’re making to aircraft, websites and service, should help us attract and retain customers and better recognize and reward their support," he said.

Air India has also got its third A350 which has started service on the important Mumbai-Delhi route before it starts international operations in the months ahead. The airline has also added two new A320s to its fleet, he added.

Air India has also onboarded the first batch of 'Cadet Pilots' who will soon commence ground training with its partner flying schools in the US later this month.

"Also, after much hard work, our Cabin Crew team also cleared the backlog of training batches - and marked the release-to-service of our 4000th new crew member since privatization! These new colleagues join our great group of experienced leaders and mentors, and together, with an average age of 28, they will personify the new Air India around the world," he added.

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Lynx Air and Boeing Scrap B737 MAX Purchase Contract

Abhishek Nayar

08 Apr 2024

In a recent ruling by an Alberta judge, the fate of a longstanding agreement between Lynx Air and Boeing has been determined. The termination of purchase contract no. 04427 marks the end of a once-promising deal that now lies in the shadow of financial turmoil and operational challenges.

Agreement Termination Approved & Background

On April 2, Judge Jane Sidnell of the King's Bench of Alberta Court in Calgary approved an agreement between Lynx Air and Boeing to terminate their purchase contract for B737 MAX aircraft. This decision follows Lynx Air's filing for creditor protection and subsequent cessation of operations on February 26, 2024.

The purchase agreement, initially signed in October 2015 and later amended in 2018, involved Lynx Air's intention to acquire a total of forty B737 MAX aircraft, including both B737-8 and B737-8-200 variants. Additionally, Lynx Air had plans to lease six more aircraft as part of the agreement.

Operational Challenges and Financial Turmoil

Despite taking delivery of nine B737-8 aircraft under lease terms, Lynx Air faced significant challenges in fulfilling the terms of the purchase contract. The company encountered financial difficulties, leading to the decision to seek creditor protection and ultimately cease operations.

Sale Attempts and Unsuccessful Resolutions

In an effort to salvage the situation, Lynx Air explored options to sell its rights and interests in the MAX purchase agreement. However, faced with complexities and challenges in maximizing value for the airline, Lynx Air and Boeing jointly concluded that terminating the agreement was the most viable solution.

Terms of Termination Agreement

The termination agreement, dated March 21, 2024, outlines the terms of the settlement between Lynx Air and Boeing. While the exact compensation amount remains undisclosed, it was deemed satisfactory by all involved parties, including Lynx Air's monitor and senior creditor, Indigo Northern Ventures LP.

Status of Delivered Aircraft

Of the nine B737-8 aircraft that Lynx Air had taken delivery of, all were leased from various lessors. These aircraft are currently in operation, albeit under uncertain circumstances given Lynx Air's cessation of operations.

  • C-GUUL (MSN 42846) - SMBC Aviation Capital;
  • C-GULN (MSN 42845) - SMBC Aviation Capital;
  • C-FULJ (MSN 42847) - SMBC;
  • C-GJSL (MSN 44312) - High Ridge Aviation;
  • C-FULI (MSN 44314) - Aergo Capital;
  • C-FULH (MSN 44306) - AerDragon Aviation Partners;
  • C-GLYX (MSN 66474) - BOC Aviation;
  • C-GJHK (MSN 63383) - BOC Aviation; and
  • C-FTHF (MSN 63382) - BOC.

Remaining Aircraft and Creditor Protection Period

The termination agreement indicates that Lynx Air has either assigned, transferred, or encumbered the purchase rights for three of the delivered aircraft. The remaining six aircraft, along with the undelivered orders, remain unencumbered. Lynx Air's creditor protection period is set to expire on April 15.


The termination of the purchase agreement between Lynx Air and Boeing underscores the challenges faced by airlines amidst economic uncertainties and operational disruptions. As Lynx Air navigates through its creditor protection period, the future of its remaining assets and the fate of the unfulfilled aircraft orders remain uncertain, casting a shadow over the once-promising partnership with Boeing.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

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Is Vistara Facing Turbulence Amid Pilot Protests and Flight Cancellations?

Abhishek Nayar

08 Apr 2024

Vistara, one of India's prominent carriers, finds itself navigating through turbulent skies as it grapples with a series of challenges, including pilot protests, flight cancellations, and operational adjustments. Amidst growing concerns over crew availability and scheduling issues, the airline is exploring measures to mitigate disruptions and ensure smoother operations in the coming months.

Pilot Protests and Pay Revisions

In recent developments, Vistara has been forced to cancel approximately 20 flights per day, attributing the disruptions primarily to crew unavailability. The root cause of this shortage stems from a wave of sick leave taken by a portion of Vistara's pilots. According to reports, some pilots opted for sick leave as a form of protest against a downward revision in pay ahead of the anticipated merger with Tata-owned Air India later this year.

The impending merger has created a sense of uncertainty among Vistara's pilot workforce, leading to concerns over potential changes in remuneration and working conditions. The discontent among pilots has been exacerbated by the strain of a busy flight schedule, resulting in growing fatigue and dissatisfaction with the current operating environment.

Operational Challenges and Flight Cancellations

Vistara, jointly owned by the Tata group and Singapore Airlines, has been grappling with operational challenges since late March, with flight cancellations becoming a recurrent issue. Vinod Kannan, the chief executive of Vistara, acknowledged the shortfall in operational capacity, revealing that the airline typically operates around 350 flights per day but is now falling short by approximately 20 flights daily.

Kannan clarified that the decision to cancel flights was primarily aimed at providing a buffer of available crew, rather than being driven by other underlying reasons. The cancellations are intended to optimize crew allocation and alleviate the strain on existing resources, particularly amidst concerns raised by pilots regarding the demanding nature of their schedules.

Mitigating Disruptions: Adjusting Pilot Schedules

In response to the ongoing challenges, Vistara is contemplating adjustments to its pilot schedules for the upcoming month of May. Kannan indicated that the feasibility of cutting crew schedules would depend on various factors, including the preferences of pilots and the operational requirements necessitated by the airline's flight operations.

The proposed adjustments aim to strike a balance between operational efficiency and crew welfare, addressing the concerns raised by pilots while ensuring the continuity of services for passengers. By reassessing crew schedules and implementing strategic measures, Vistara endeavors to navigate through the current turbulence and emerge stronger in the face of adversity.

Looking Ahead: Charting a Course for Stability

As Vistara confronts the challenges posed by pilot protests and flight cancellations, the focus remains on fostering a conducive working environment and enhancing operational resilience. The airline's commitment to addressing the grievances of its workforce while maintaining service standards underscores its dedication to ensuring passenger satisfaction and long-term sustainability.

Amidst the evolving landscape of India's aviation sector, Vistara is poised to leverage its strategic partnerships and operational expertise to overcome the present hurdles and chart a course for stability and growth. With proactive measures and a collaborative approach, Vistara aims to navigate through the current headwinds and emerge as a resilient player in the competitive airline industry.

With Inputs from Reuters