Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Airlines, News

Turkish Airlines: profitability, growth, and sustainability


Turkish Airlines have recently recorded impressive third quarter results. The airline is currently operating even stronger than it was in 2019 before the pandemic. Demonstrating profitability, growth, and a strong engagement with sustainability, Turkish Airlines appears to be going from strength to strength.


Third quarter results

Turkish Airlines reported generating a net profit of more than $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2022. This figure was up 131.3 per-cent from the pre-pandemic results of 2019.

Disclosing their success, the carrier said:

“Turkish Airlines finished the third quarter of 2022 with $1.5 billion net profit thanks to its operational agility and ability to meet the increasing demand with its highly skilled workforce and wide flight network it preserved during the pandemic.”

The Turkish flag carrier was able to hit the ground running as restrictions eased having retained their staff during the pandemic. In 2021, the then Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci explained:

“In addition to the many measures we have taken, we owe our success to the dedication of our employees. While other airlines employees are facing layoffs, we have not parted ways with any of our employees during this process; we have decided not to lay off staff in order to provide better service and faster recovery than other carriers.”

Turkish Airlines have also seen an increase in international passengers travelling with the airline since the pandemic. The airline flew to 335 destinations worldwide as of the end of October, up from 316 destinations in the same month of 2019.


New routes

The airline currently flies to more countries than any other in the world, connecting 278 destinations across four continents from 53 Turkish cities. Despite this, the airline has announced further expansion plans to fourteen additional destinations in September, building upon the cities identified as points of expansion in August.

The geographic breakdown of these are:

  • Ten in Europe
  • Seven in Africa and the Middle East
  • Six in Asia-Pacific
  • Five in the Americas



Acknowledging the scale of their operations, Turkish Airlines have been furthering their sustainability efforts and have been internationally recognised for doing so. The airline recently won the Airline Sustainability Innovation of the Year award by CAPA.

The award was for their innovation with Microalgae Based Sustainable Bio-Jet Fuel Project (MICRO-JET) which helped to develop the world’s first carbon negative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The airline’s Chief Investment & Technology Officer Levent Konukcu said:

“’As the airline that flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, we appreciate the sustainable aviation fuel as a key element in our sustainability strategy on reducing aviation’s environmental impact. […] Beyond the use of biofuels, the fact that our support to scientific studies in the production of this fuel is crowned with an award here today makes us proud as it proves the correctness of the steps we have taken.”

Once the airline is able to use this biofuel it will be using the cleanest type of biofuel.

Turkish Airlines has recently dominated headlines with their profits, growth, and sustainability efforts. The carrier has hit the ground running following the pandemic and has been labelled one of the key airlines to watch in the future.

To read about the use of technology at Istanbul Airport read here.

Turkish Airlines will be speaking at Aviation Festival Asia in 2023, speaking on the CIO Panel: How are airline CIOs in Asia prioritising investments as we head further into 2023 to meet passengers digital demands and deliver on sustainability efforts? The airline will as be speaking on digital ambition.


Article by Jess Brownlow