Turkish Airlines to make Australian debut with Melbourne service

Turkish Airlines will start its first flights to Australia in March with the launch of a service to Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria.

Türkiye’s national carrier will initially operate the service three times a week via Singapore.

The airline plans to fly directly between Istanbul and Melbourne once it has bought aircraft with the capability to do so.

The route offers an alternative for travellers from the UK, who can fly from London to Istanbul for the onward flights to Singapore and Melbourne – then the Istanbul-Melbourne direct route once that is operational.

Turkish Airlines said it will become the only European airline to fly to Melbourne airport, which serves Australia’s largest city.

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Jim Parashos, Melbourne airport chief of aviation, said: “It’s no surprise that Turkish Airlines has chosen Melbourne as its first Australian destination, given we are home to the nation’s largest Turkish community and our position as the capital of food, sport and culture.

“Last month Melbourne airport became the first capital city in Australia to exceed its pre-pandemic international seat capacity, and Turkish Airlines’ announcement today cements that recovery.”

Prof Dr Ahmet Bolat, chairman of the airline, added: “As the airline flying to more countries than any other, we are excited to add Melbourne to our flight network as the 346th destination.

“Australia becomes the 130th country and sixth continent under our wings.”

The first flight from Istanbul is due to arrive in Melbourne on March 16.

Victoria’s minister for jobs and industry, Natalie Hutchins, said the three services each week have the potential to grow to a daily service.

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