Turkish Airlines Exceeds Passenger and Cargo Goals in 2023

A Turkish Airlines jet above clouds.
Photo Credit: Turkish Airlines

Despite global turmoil, Turkish Airlines reached new heights in 2023, transporting a record 83.4 million passengers.

This success stemmed largely from the airline’s adaptability, extensive network, and dedicated workforce.

These key factors were clearly honed during the pandemic years. It saw the carrier outpacing its peers in 2023.

Domestic and International Growth

Domestic passenger capacity surged by 23.5%, surpassing 30 million travelers. International routes also saw a significant rise, with capacity increasing by 16% and passenger numbers climbing by 14% to 53 million.

Notably, flights to European countries with large Turkish populations witnessed a remarkable year-over-year increase of over 20%.

Leading the Industry

While global international capacity remained 12% below 2019 levels (according to IATA), Turkish Airlines bucked the trend, exceeding its own 2019 international capacity by an impressive 27%.

Additionally, Istanbul Airport, fueled by Turkey’s aviation investments, emerged as the busiest European hub measured by daily flights.

A Turkish Cargo Boeing 777 freighter approaches to land.
MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Turkish Cargo Takes Off

Operating across 133 countries and 364 destinations with a fleet of 24 freighters and 416 passenger aircraft, Turkish Cargo saw its freight ton kilometers soar by 16% compared to 2019.

The company tripled its market share in the air cargo market over the past decade, solidifying its position as the world’s fourth-largest air cargo carrier (based on IATA 2023 data).

Future Fleet Investment

As part of its 100th Anniversary Strategy, Turkish Airlines aims to expand its fleet to 800 aircraft by 2033.

In 2023, the company achieved a 12% increase in its fleet size to 440 aircraft, despite global challenges in aircraft procurement and production.

Supporting National Recovery

Following the devastating earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey’s national flag carrier played a vital role in relief efforts.

Turkish Airlines offered free humanitarian passenger and cargo flights from both domestic and international locations.

Additionally, the company provided a significant cash donation of 2 billion TL to the affected region and facilitated the construction of 1,000 houses through a collaboration with AFAD.

A Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 parked at Melbourne Airport.
Photo Credit: Turkish Airlines

Awards Recognize Excellence

Turkish Airlines’ 2023 performance furthers its drive to achieve its 2033 goals, aiming to deliver substantial value to all stakeholders.

With a target of over $50 billion in revenue and 170 million passengers by its 100th anniversary, the company’s dedication to passenger experience, digitalization, and sustainability has been recognized by leading industry institutions.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) awarded Turkish Airlines a “Five-Star Global Airline” title for the third time.

Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization, bestowed the “Europe’s Best Airline” award for the eighth consecutive year.

Additionally, World Finance recognized Turkish Airlines as the “Most Sustainable Flag Carrier Airline” for the second time.


With over 83,000 employees and its subsidiaries, Turkish Airlines proudly represents Turkey on the world stage.

Renowned for its extensive network, modern fleet, and exceptional service, the company sets the bar for the aviation industry.

2023’s achievements solidify Turkish Airlines’ commitment to maintaining these high standards.

Looking ahead, the carrier remains dedicated to sustainable growth in the aviation sector, aligning with national development goals and its 2033 strategy.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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