North America

ANA - North America

Inspiration of JAPAN

Press Release

Strategic Network Expansion into Central Asia and Middle East
Turkish Airlines now delivering all Star Alliance Customer Benefits

ISTANBUL, Turkey – April 1st, 2008 - At a ceremony held in Istanbul today, Turkish Airlines was welcomed as the 20th Star Alliance member airline. With an additional 31 destinations – mainly in Turkey, Central Asia and the Middle East, customers now have more choice than ever before when travelling on the Star Alliance network. Overall, the world’s most experienced aviation alliance now offers customers the choice of 18,000 daily flights serving 965 airports in 162 countries.

“With Turkish Airlines we have gained a new member carrier with a strong home market which is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Moreover, we can now offer the Star Alliance benefits to a large number of new travellers, while at the same time simplifying travel for our existing customers to many of the new emerging markets in Central Asia and the Middle East,” said Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO.

Turkish Airlines is already one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe (passenger traffic growth of 23.5% according to AEA [Association of European Airlines]) and holds a strategic position between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Dr. Temel Kotil, the CEO of Turkish Airlines commented: “This year Turkish Airlines celebrates its 75th anniversary and joining the alliance is an important step for the airline’s future, building on its strength of bridging Europe and Asia through its Istanbul hub and thereby adding value to the Star Alliance network.”

Turkish Airlines has already outlined its further expansion course both in terms of network and fleet. By the end of the year Turkish Airlines plans to start flying to 11 new destinations and add an additional 22 aircraft. This will further improve the flight connections provided by the Star Alliance network.

Dr. Candan Karlιtekin, Chairman of the Turkish Airlines said: “Joining Star Alliance is an important step for Turkish Airlines in becoming a major player and global airline in the world of aviation. For this we have raised our own internal targets in order to provide a world-class service to the 493 million passengers a year flying on the Star Alliance network.”

Star Alliance Customer Benefits now available on Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines is now offering the wide-ranging customer benefits of Star Alliance. These include among others:
  -   through check-in on journeys involving more than one Star Alliance member carrier from the originating airport;
  -   full frequent flyer reciprocity: All Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles members can now collect and redeem miles on all other Star Alliance member carriers;
  -   Star Alliance Gold status for Miles & Smiles Elite and Elite Plus: These customers can now access alliance-wide benefits which include access to more than 790 lounges world-wide, extra-baggage allowance, priority baggage delivery, dedicated check-in counters and priority waitlist (reservation) and airport stand-by;
  -   Star Alliance Silver Status for Miles & Smiles Classic Plus:-These customers are now entitled to priority waitlist (reservation) and airport stand-by;
  -   Turkish Airlines will sell the 11 different Star Alliance Fare Products, which include among others the popular Round the World Fare, and North American and European Airpasses;
  -   Turkish Airlines will also participate in Star Alliance’s Corporate Plus and Conventions Plus products.
About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance received the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award in 2008 and was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and by Skytrax in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Air India and EgyptAir have been accepted as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers nearly 18,000 daily flights to 965 destinations in 162 countries.

About Turkish Airlines:
Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s national flag carrier was founded in Ankara on May 20, 1933 under the name of “State Airlines Administration” and started its operations depending on the Ministery of Defence. In 2007 Turkish Airlines become one of the fastest growing airlines among the European carriers in terms of growth in capacity and traffic, as well as being number one in least amount of lost luggage for the period. Turkish Airlines has been ranked as a 4 star Airline by the SKYTRAX magazine. With the fleet size of 102 aircraft, THY carried 19.65 million passengers in 2007, operated 108 international and 32 domestic, in total 140 direct flight destinations (142 airports). Turkish Airlines is one of the fastly growing airlines within the European market with a capacity of 20 million passengers in 2007.
For further information please contact:
Turkish Airlines Press Office
Tel : + 90 212 465 21 11
Fax : + 90 212 465 20 78
Email :
  Star Alliance Press Office
Tel: +49 69 96375 183
Fax: +49 69 96375 683
Photos and video footage will be available @
as of April 2, 2008.