Turkish Airlines celebrates its one billionth passenger

A Turkish Airlines A330 approaches to land.
Riik@mctr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This week, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines will officially carried its one billionth passenger from Istanbul Airport to Adıyaman Airport. The carrier, which has been in operation for 90 years, projects that it will carry its two billionth passenger in 2031.

Turkish Airlines welcomed its one billionth passenger, Mustafa Balci, at Istanbul Airport with a special ceremony and gifted him one million miles.

About being the one billionth passenger with his ticket to Adiyaman, Mustafa Balci said, “It is a great honor for me to be the one billionth passenger of Turkish Airlines and to be rewarded with a special gift for it. This experience will be an unforgettable memory for me.”

Photo Credit: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat stated, “Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, carried its one billionth passenger today. We are filled with great pride and happiness for carrying our one billionth passenger.”

“Our brand, which has reached one billion passengers in 90 years, aims to reach its two billionth passenger in 2031, 8 years from now.”

“I would like to thank all our passengers who have shared this joy with us and all my colleagues who have contributed to this success,” he concluded.

The plan for the coming decade

Whilst the Turkish carrier is now 90 years old, the last 20 years have been particularly notable for the airline.

Over the last 20 years, Turkish Airlines has achieved an extraordinary growth performance in capacity, passenger numbers, and profitability.


The past two decades have seen the carrier outperform the industry average to become one of the most important players in global aviation today.

Recently, the airline disclosed its stated goals and objectives for the coming decade, which will take it up to its hundredth anniversary in 2033.

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 approaches to land.
Photo Credit: Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Having started its days with just five aircraft in its fleet, Turkish airlines now projects the fleet expansion from its current number of 435 to over 800 aircraft in 2023.

Its passenger network is projected to be 400 destinations, with the airline servicing 170 million passengers as compared to 85 million in 2023.

With respect to its cargo operations, Turkish cargo is projected to be among the top three cargo operators globally by 2023 and will effectively double its cargo volume.

From humble beginnings

Founded in 1933 with just five aircraft, the airline has grown into a global carrier operating a fleet of over 300 aircraft and serving more than 300 destinations worldwide.

The airline is known for its excellent customer service and modern fleet of aircraft, which includes Airbus A350s including the A350 XWB, Boeing 777-300ER and 787 Dreamliners, and the new Airbus A321neo.

Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance network, which is the largest airline alliance in the world, providing passengers with access to over 1,300 destinations in 195 countries.

Turkish Airlines is committed to providing its customers with the best possible flying experience. The airline has won numerous awards for its customer service, including being named “Best Airline in Europe” six times by Skytrax, the world’s leading airline and airport rating organization.

One of the unique features of Turkish Airlines is its award-winning catering service. The airline offers a wide range of gourmet meals inspired by Turkish cuisine, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, and vegetarian options.

Passengers can also enjoy a selection of premium wines and champagne, as well as a variety of snacks and beverages throughout their flight.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy