Turkish Airlines leads the way
Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, has released strong results for last year as a result of strong passenger growth and a significant expansion in fleet size.
The carrier increased its fleet from 102 planes to 127 and saw consolidated net profits more than quadruple year-on-year, to US$712 million, despite the fuel crisis that hampered the airline industry for much of last year.
Cargo grew by 8% to 203,000 tonnes, while passengers increased by 15% to 22.6 million people in 2008. The carrier also attained Cargo 2000 membership recently.
The strong figures do not reflect the first quarter of 2009, which have seen a collapse in European freight figures in the first two months of this year. In addition, profit margins have been improved by the fluctuations of the Turkish lira against the greenback.
Most of the increase stemmed from raising the lira value of the carrier's planes and other dollar-denominated assets after the Turkish currency dropped 24% against its US counterpart, Turkish Airlines stated, according to the local Hurriyet newspaper.