Interview with svp for corporate marketing and distribution channels of Turkish Airlines, Mert Dorman

Turkish Airlines, the airline flying to more countries than any other airline, hosted the Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Conference on 17–18 September in Istanbul, in partnership with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The conference is an annual international event where industry leaders come together and discuss the future of business travelling. This year’s event was attended by 900 participants from 71 countries, including Ukraine, across the widest international flight network that Turkish Airlines operates. The program features leading names in the industry including Mike Walsh as a keynote speaker, the CEO of Tomorrow, and best-selling author of the book “Futuretainment”.

The theme of 2018’s conference is “Building for the Future”, featuring Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, M. İlker Aycı with the BBC’s Aaron Heslehurst as a moderator. This year’s theme resonates on three levels – for Turkey as a country, Turkish Airlines as a global flag carrier and for the travel industry. Turkey has undergone a huge transition over recent years in developing its economy and infrastructure. To set just one example in this regard, the Istanbul New Airport – a state-of-the-art facility, which will open on 29 October, 2018, will be the largest airport in the world by 2023. The much-anticipated opening of the New Airport Istanbul will be awarded the status of the “Hub of the World” and will host 200 million passengers per year on completion. Turkish Airlines’ expansion has increased demand for this excellent facility, which will help the national flag carrier achieve their goals of 120 million passengers and a fleet of 500 aircraft by 2023.

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Senior Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Distribution Channels of Turkish Airlines, Mert Dorman described the main benefits, which Turkish Airlines proposes to the business travellers.

How is Turkish Airlines this year? For many passengers, Turkish Airlines is a bridge between West and East. What is the percentage rate of passengers in your flights?

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– Turkish Airlines, which continues to strengthen its identity as a leading global airline with its ever-expanding flight network and the implementation of other significant investments, currently operates flights to 49 domestic and 255 international destinations, 304 destinations in 122 countries.

During the first half of the year, total Load Factor increased by 4.3 percentage points up to 80.4%, recording the highest Load Factor in Turkish Airlines history for the first half a year.

During the same period, increase in total number of passengers carried, capacity and demand was 18 percent, 9 percent and 16 percent, respectively, over the same period of last year.

Turkish Airlines carried more than 35 million passengers during this period. According to International Air Transport Association first five month figures, the global aviation sector realized capacity growth of 6 percent and demand growth of 7 percent.

The fleet of Turkish Airlines, one of the youngest and most modern in the world, operates 330 aircraft, comprising 218 narrow body, 92 wide body and 20 cargo aircraft, as of today. Investing in the most advanced and environmentally friendly new generation aircraft, Turkish Airlines targets at reaching a fleet of 500 aircraft by 2023.

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Despite the strong global competitive environment, Turkish Airlines, having around 52 thousand employees with its subsidiaries, continues to generate successful results and will continue its trend in the sustainable growth path as the global brand of Turkey.

What are the benefits and services you propose to the business travellers in Turkish Airlines Corporate Club?

– In an increasingly globalized world, where air travelling is set to expand massively, we are dedicated to have premium flying experience.

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Multinationals are increasingly demanding and their travel requirements can be challenging. This is why we have recently revamped our corporate travel program, Turkish Airlines Corporate Club, to cater for different needs and offer the best services at competitive prices.

Since the Corporate Club was established, we have introduced many benefits for our loyal business class flyers and our Corporate Club members such as providing with flexible tickets, free on-board Wi-Fi and a generous baggage allowance. “Traditional Turkish Hospitality”, as a core value of Turkish Airlines, is world-renowned and deeply engrained in our culture. We offer “Best Business Class Food Service”, ”Flying Chef Gourmet Meals” cooked by on-board chefs, and a comfortable night’s sleep possibility on our long haul flights, and many more exclusive offerings, that is impossible to rank all here. Furthermore, we also offer our Corporate Help desk as an after sales assistance to further improvement of customer satisfaction.

Our world-renowned hospitality is not only limited to on-board service. We are proud of a multi award-winning Business Class Lounge, “Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul”, where you can freshen up with a shower, rest or sleep in a private room and read in our library, etc. Briefly, it includes a wide range of options that are created to make the pre-flight time an unforgettable and unique experience. Turkish Airlines Corporate Club members are eligible to enjoy these and many more in Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul, which is even bigger than some airports in the world.

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What are the benefits of Corporate Help Desk Service?

– Corporate Help Desk is targeted at providing exclusive and centralized service to corporate customers and Travel Management Companies.

  • Ease of access
  • Standardized after sales service
  • International and local language service
  • Requests and complaints follow-up
  • Faster information about new products and services Service points: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the USA.
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Planned to open soon: China, Italy, Taiwan.

What trends do you see in the year ahead when it comes to airline loyalty programs?

– Airlines are changing business models and strategies of loyalty programmes. Personalization is getting more and more important in our daily business life. Therefore, they are investing in more personalized products, services and tailor made offers to corporate customers. Using big data, airlines try to serve with great benefits and excellent quality.

 

Turkish Airlines operates more than 60 passenger and freighter flights to 6 cities of Ukraine: Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Lviv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. This year the airline celebrates 25th anniversary of its flights to Ukraine.

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