ANA service to Istanbul and expanded partnership with Turkish would need balance with Lufthansa

ANA-turkish-200xAsian airlines are expanding partnerships and collaboration with new hubs. Following Singapore Airlines’ expanded partnership with Turkish Airlines and Cathay Pacific’s with Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways – now Japan’s largest international carrier – is likely to open a service from Tokyo to Istanbul and deepen its partnership with fellow Star carrier Turkish Airlines. This would be the first Japanese service to Turkey, complementing those from other Asian countries including Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. It would also be the first strategic partnership between a Japanese carrier and an airline from a new hub in Turkey/the Gulf.

The rationale is clean cut. Turkey has become a popular tourist point for Japanese passengers, who would pay a premium to fly on a Japanese carrier to Istanbul. ANA can use Istanbul to open new destinations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa that it and competitor Japan Airlines cannot reach but Middle East Gulf carriers can.

ANA’s challenge is tapping these new markets while sustaining its important relationship with the Lufthansa Group, whose seven daily flights to Japan are under a JV with ANA. An expanded Turkish Airlines partnership would have sensitivity in its overlap with Lufthansa, which has recently very publicly terminated most of  its cooperation with Turkish as the fast growing “fourth Gulf airline” increasingly challenged its hub role.

via ANA service to Istanbul and expanded partnership with Turkish would need balance with Lufthansa | CAPA – Centre for Aviation.

Strike looms at Turkey’s top airline

(CNN) — Turkey’s flagship airline is facing the threat of a strike after negotiations with the country’s main aviation workers union collapsed.

Turkish Airlines aircraft parked at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, March 16, 2013.
Turkish Airlines aircraft parked at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, March 16, 2013.

The head of the Turkish Civilian Aviation Union, or Hava-Is, said the strike against Turkish Airlines would go into effect at 3 a.m. local time Wednesday.

“All of Turkish Airlines’ functions will stop, no passenger flights, no cargo services, no connecting flights,” Hava-Is president Atilay Aycin said in a phone interview with CNN.

“All sectors starting with the tourism industry who are doing business with Turkish Airlines will be affected,” Aycin added.

Hava-Is says it represents 14,000 Turkish airlines workers.

Turkish Airlines published a statement Tuesday, acknowledging that its management failed to reach an agreement on a labor dispute “due to uncompromising and imposing approaches of the Union.”

The airline urged its employees to “disregard” the proposed strike. It also accused Hava-Is of “trying to plunge Turkish Airlines and its employees into an indefinite strike adventure which will benefit nobody.”

Hava-Is’ leadership says it is has been negotiating salaries and rest periods for long flights, which the union’s president says do not meet international standards.

Though recently privatized, Turkish Airlines is 49% government-owned. Its fleet of airplanes and schedule of routes have expanded dramatically in the last decade, as Turkey has enjoyed a period of solid economic growth.

The Turkish government has developed a pattern of using the airline as an extension of Turkey’s “soft power.” The airline has extended routes to new countries, in conjunction with bilateral diplomatic overtures from Ankara.

But the airline has also been caught up in the culture wars that frequently pit Turkey’s ruling pious Muslim elite against more secular segments of Turkish society.

This month, Turkish Airlines attracted international attention when the company announced it was banning certain shades of lipstick and nail polish among flight attendants.

Turkish flight attendants see red over lipstick policy

Outrage spilled into social media and newspaper columns, as secular critics accused the airline’s management of imposing conservative religious values on the company.

A similar uproar emerged after the company announced it would stop serving alcohol on a number of domestic and international routes.

via Strike looms at Turkey’s top airline –

Turkish Airlines bans bright lipstick on hostesses

Turkish Airlines has banned air hostesses from wearing brightly-coloured lipsticks such as red or pink, a move which has sparked fierce debate as the government is accused of trying to Islamise the country, according to reports.

In recent months the booming airline – which is 49 percent state-owned – has also stopped serving alcohol on internal flights Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Agence France-Presse in Ankara

3:30PM BST 01 May 2013

Numerous women posted pictures of themselves wearing bright red lipstick on social media websites to protest at the measure, part of a new aesthetics code for stewardesses working for Turkey’s main airline.

The lipstick ban is the latest in a string of conservative measures adopted by the airline, which have sparked the ire of fiercely secular Turks.

“This measure is an act of perversion. How else could you describe it?” said Gursel Tekin, vice-president of the main opposition party CHP.

Turkish Airlines defended the ban, saying in a statement yesterday that “simple make-up, immaculate and in pastel colours, is preferred for staff working in the service sector”.

In recent months the booming airline – which is 49 percent state-owned – has also stopped serving alcohol on internal flights.

In February, images of proposed new uniforms for flight attendants bringing in ankle-length dresses and Ottoman-style fez caps were criticised as too conservative. The skirts of Turkish Airlines stewardesses once came in far above the knee.

However the more conservative new uniforms have not been adopted.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyin Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, in power for over a decade, is often accused of creeping efforts to coerce the country to be more conservative and pious.

Turkey is a fiercely secular state, despite being a majority Muslim country. Under Mr Erdogan’s rule headscarves – banned in public institutions – have become more visible in public places and alcohol bans are more widespread.

Edited at by Sarah Titterton

Who would bet against Turkey? – Flight International Editor’s Blog

By Murdo Morrison on April 29, 2013 5:14 PM

The following article first appeared as a Comment in the 30 April issue of Flight International

Turkish Airlines’ grandiose plans to become the planet’s biggest airline are being matched by equally ostentatious government ambitions to build the world’s biggest hub airport in Istanbul, both in a manner that threatens to outpace rivals in the Arabian Gulf.

So just how realistic is Istanbul’s bid to become aviation’s next Dubai – or something even bigger? A larger home market, full of young, aspiring travellers getting more affluent is one significant advantage, and a geographical location allowing short-haul flights to destinations in Europe and parts of Africa to which Emirates must fly widebodies is another.

The 150 million passenger, $10 billion, six runway airport project should help Turkish Airlines reach its target of operating 2,000 flights per day while boosting the country’s other emerging carriers, which cannot currently expand in slot-constrained Ataturk.

Yet assuming the new airport goes to plan, and given the scale of the task that’s a very big assumption, will Turkey’s airlines be able to hold on to the reins while growing at such speed? Of course they say they can, but building scale efficiently and not letting costs run out of control will be a huge challenge.

Any number of imponderables may play a hand in shaping Istanbul’s destiny, but given everything Turkey has achieved so far and where it was 10 years ago, who would bet against the country pulling it off again?

via Who would bet against Turkey? – Flight International Editor’s Blog.

Turkish signs aircraft deal : TTR Weekly

Turkish signs aircraft deal

April 19, 2013 by AFP

Filed under Aviation, News


ISTANBUL, 19 April 2013: Turkish national flag-carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) signed on Wednesday a gigantic deal for up to 117 planes with European manufacturer Airbus in a deal worth up to US$9.3 billion (7.1 billion euros) at catalogue prices.

“We are inking today the biggest deal ever clinched by a Turkish airline,” THY chairman Hamdi Topcu said during a ceremony with Airbus in Istanbul finalising the order first announced last month.

Neither THY or Airbus provided financial details, but at catalogue prices the aircraft would be worth some US$9.3 billion, although discounts are usually obtained for large orders.

Turkish Airlines chairman of the board Hamdi Topcu (L) and Airbus president Fabrice Bregier pose during a signing ceremony on 17 April 2013 in Istanbul.

The order centres on Airbus’ A320 medium-haul family of aircraft, mostly on the new fuel-efficient Neo versions, and includes firm orders for 82 planes and an option for 35 others, to be delivered by 2020.

THY currently has a fleet of 215 planes, 107 of them purchased from Airbus and the rest from its US rival Boeing.

With the new order, the THY expects to be operating a 375-plane fleet by 2020, hoping to become “one of the 10 largest airlines in the world and carry 90 million passengers a year,” according to Topcu.

The airline flew 39 million passengers last year, and its aiming for 46 million this year.

“Today we celebrate a great achievement for Airbus and Turkish Airlines,” Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier told reporters ahead of the ceremony.

Bregier praised THY’s growth, which he said was faster than Airbus.

Starting off as a monopoly, THY was privatised 10 years ago, which Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said “put the company on a rational footing that allowed this extensive growth.”

In recent months, the company has also ordered 20 longer-range Airbus A330-300s aircraft, putting the total number of potential purchases as high as 137 planes.

Bregier also said Airbus was looking to be the “biggest partner” for Turkish aerospace companies by reaching a cumulative spending of US$2.4 billion in the country by 2025.

Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey would welcome “more of Airbus”, calling on the company to produce planes in Turkey.

As part of a shopping spree that began in October, the THY also placed orders for 95 Boeing planes, including 70 firm orders to be delivered by 2021.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

via Turkish signs aircraft deal : TTR Weekly.