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New Route of the Day – Americas (15 November 2023): Turkish Airlines between Istanbul IST and Detroit


Turkish Airlines introduced flights between Istanbul IST and Detroit on Wednesday 15 November. The 8,525-kilometre service will be maintained 3-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with the 787-9 aircraft. It will increase to 4-weekly from 25 December, adding Saturdays to the schedule. The carrier faces no competition on the route.

Flight TK205 departs Istanbul IST at 15:45 local time, arriving in Detroit at 18:50 local time. The return service, operating as flight TK206, takes off from the airport in Michigan at 21:35 local time, arriving back in Türkiye’s largest city at 15:35 local time the following afternoon.

What they said

Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee at Turkish Airlines, said: “Today is a special day as we gather here to celebrate the inaugural flight of Turkish Airlines to the city of Detroit. We have brought two great cities, Istanbul, and Detroit, closer together by initiating this direct flight. We’re thrilled to connect Istanbul and Detroit, creating opportunities for travel, business, and cultural exploration. As the national flag carrier of Türkiye, our beautiful country, we reach to more countries than any other airline in the world, and by adding new destinations to our ever-expanding network, such as Detroit, we continue to serve our primary mission of uniting people and cultures all around the globe.”

Chad Newton, CEO at the Wayne County Airport Authority, added: “A significant portion of our customers have been looking forward to this news for quite some time. Metro Detroiters with family overseas and those simply looking to travel internationally will benefit immensely from the direct flight to Istanbul and the connecting flights to other international markets. With Turkish Airlines’ arrival, we are better suited to meet the needs of our diverse customer base.”

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Turkish Airlines adds 13th US gateway

Turkish Airlines has been expanding its US presence in recent years with the opening of New York EWR and Dallas in 2021 and its first-ever Pacific-Northwest route in Seattle in 2022. Denver joins 12 other airports already served by the Turkish flag carrier in the country. In addition to the abovementioned, they include Atlanta, Washington IAD, New York JFK, Chicago ORD, Houston, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Turkish Airlines plans to further grow its US network in the coming period and has earmarked Denver as its next destination in the country, although it is yet to schedule the service.

The US is Turkish Airlines’ second-largest international market

Turkish Airlines has grown its number of flights between Istanbul IST and the US by almost 90% in S23 compared to the pre-pandemic S19. The carrier already surpassed its 2019 operations on the US market last year and plans to continue growing in S24 as well. It has scheduled frequency growth on its services to Atlanta from 7-weekly to 10-weekly, while the newly launched Detroit operation will further increase from 4-weekly to 5-weekly from July.

The US is now Turkish Airlines’ second-largest market in terms of the number of flights, behind only Germany. Its US operations reflect the airline’s ambitious growth plans intending to drive US tourism to Türkiye, with an annual goal of two million visitors per year.

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