Air Transport World

Turkish Airlines prepares for big changes.

Istanbul--Things are looking up for THY Turkish Airlines. Shunned for many years as an accident-prone carrier--it had seven fatal accidents (including the notorious McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crash near Paris) between 1974 and 1983--Turkey's flag airline is making a determined effort to re establish itself as a trustworthy operator in the minds of the international traveling public.

Although never a "prestige" airline, THY attracted its share of international passengers in the 1960s and early 1970s, the reliability of its Vickers Viscount and McDonnell Douglas DC-9 operations being at least on par with those of other carries based in Eastern Europe and the Near East. However, since its formation as Devlet Hava Yollari (DHY) in 1933 to link the nation's main cities, the Turkish state airline had always been primarily a domestic carrier. Renamed Turk Hava Yollan (THY) in 1956 the company expanded its international operations but still carried the bulk of its traffic on domestic services.

In recent years growth of domestic traffic has stagnated at about 1.5 million passengers annually while international traffic has continued to increase. Thus in 1984 THY carried 1.5 million domestic passengers and 1.2 million international which still means that it has a higher domestic-to-international passenger traffic ratio than any other european-based airline except lberia. In 1985 this ratio is expected to be 50-50 if international traffic continues to grow.

First-class again

THY's hopes are mainly based on the passenger appeal of the airbus A310, four of which will be put into service in June. …

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