Turkish Airlines launches Antalya-London direct flights

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National flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) has launched daily direct flights between London’s Gatwick Airport and Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.

The first flight was conducted on Sunday, celebrated with a drawing awarding free round-trip tickets to two passengers, a statement by THY said Monday.

Daily direct flights to the holiday hot spot will continue until Oct. 26.

“With a combination of stunning scenery, excellent weather and world class golf courses to offer, it’s easy to understand why Antalya is such a popular destination for thousands of British holidaymakers each year,” said Celal Baykal, the carrier’s general manager in London.

In January, THY launched direct flights between the capital Ankara and London.

THY currently offers direct flights from Turkey to five airports in the United Kingdom, namely Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester in Britain and Edinburgh airport in Scotland.

Over 46 million tourists visited Turkey in 2018, an 18 percent increase from the previous year. With 12.4 million visitors last year, Antalya was the second most-popular destination, after Istanbul with 13.4 million tourists.

Founded in 1933, Turkish Airlines flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries – 49 domestic and 257 international.

The carrier served 10.85 million passengers in the first two months of this year. In the two-month period, the total number of passengers carried by Turkish Airlines rose 0.4 percent year-on-year.

THY served 75.2 million passengers last year, while the initial aim was to carry up to 74 million. The total number of passengers the company flew was up 10 percent year-on-year in 2018. The airline now aims to carry 80 million passengers this year, including 33 million on domestic and 47 million on international flights.

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