Source: DNA News Agency—An interview by Anser Mahmood Bhatti with Mr. Ismail Selim Ecirli, General Manager Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines, within a very short period of time, has become one of the most popular airlines in Pakistan. Can you please share with us the secret of Turkish Airlines success in Pakistan?
I think it is due to a number of factors. Turkish Airlines is offering a quality product in Pakistan utilizing wide body aircrafts with spacious cabins. We are offering seamless connections via our hub in Istanbul to more than 120 countries around the world. Our on board catering, lounge facilities and inflight entertainment systems are world class. These factors all have led to success in Pakistan.
What is the current fleet position and operational capacity of Turkish Airlines?
Established in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines is a 4-star airline today with a fleet of 330 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 300 destinations worldwide with 251 international and 49 domestic destinations.
Turkish airlines has offered many incentives to especially businessmen and other sectors. Can you please share some details of these incentives?
We have a corporate program catering to the business community called Turkish Corporate Club. This program offers upfront discounts, free of charge date and destination changes and free of charge excess baggage allowance. This program is very popular not only in the corporate sector here but also in the diplomatic community as well, several embassies here in Islamabad are utilizing this program.
Do you take competition as a threat or challenge? And how well-equipped you are to cope with these threats or challenges?
Competition is obviously a challenge, but that is what keeps us on our toes, and encourages us to strive for more and for the better. We are very well equipped to meet these challenges. Turkish Airlines is a global airline operating in 120 countries around the world. We have a very well-educated work force and huge financial resources. I think the Pakistani market needs more competition.
Do you think inauguration of new airport in Islamabad can help Turkish airline or other airlines?
Absolutely the new airport will help Turkish Airlines and others enormously. The new airport is up to international standards and will offer better passenger facilities for the passengers, and increased operational efficiencies for the airlines. It will also bring in more carriers into Islamabad which will be major plus for the Pakistani passengers.
Turkish Airlines happens to be Europe’s best airline. What according to you are the factors that have led the Airline to maintain its leading position in Europe?
I think this is due to an intense focus on quality and customer satisfaction. It is always about trying to go one step ahead and focusing on absolute customer satisfaction.
Business environment in Pakistan is a bit challenging especially for foreigners? Do you face any problems here?
I have not encountered any major challenges so far. Being from Turkey Pakistan is pretty much like a second home for me. Turkey is seen as a brotherly country in Pakistan and we only receive kindness and generosity from the Pakistanis.
Anything you would like to add?
For your readers who have not experienced Turkish Airlines before, we will be happy to have you on board and show you our great product and give you a whole new experience.