Turkish Airlines Launches Istanbul to Manila Service in March

Filipinos now have another direct connection to Europe. Less than one month after a new air services agreement was established between Turkey and the Philippines, Turkish Airlines has revealed that it will begin non-stop flights between Istanbul Ataturk and Manila three times weekly beginning on March 30, 2015.

turkish airlines manila flights
Image Source: Wikimedia
Earlier this year, Turkish Airlines expressed a strong interest in launching non-stop service to Manila. The Government of Turkey has long expressed an interest in strengthening bilateral ties between the two nations through the development of tourism, trade, and investment. 

According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the new air agreement was just a first step in developing ties to overcome the geographical distance between the two countries. "Turkish Airlines wants to fly every day to Manila," said Davutoğlu. But for now, the recently established air agreement restricts the European carrier to just three weekly flights. 

Turkish Airlines has been trying to serve Manila since 2011, but was unable to without revisions to the previous air services agreement. The majority of opposition to a new agreement came from local carriers that have been trying to block the Turkish flag carrier from offering daily service due to the competitive threat it poses. It currently remains unclear if Turkish Airlines plans to codeshare with Philippine Airlines.

turkish airlines manila flights
Image Source: Travel First
The new flights will be operated by a Turkish Airlines Airbus A340-300 aircraft configured with 34 seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy. The flights will depart every Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. 

turkish airlines manila flights
Image Source: Flickr
The Turkish Airlines Business Class seat features a 60 to 77 inch seat pitch with a width of 21 inches. The angled-flat seats recline up to 159 degrees.

turkish airlines manila flights
Image Source: Navjot Singh
The Turkish Airlines Economy Class seat features a 33 to 34 inch seat pitch with a width of 17 to 18 inches. They recline up to six inches in a two-four-two abreast configuration aboard the A340. 

turkish airlines manila flights
Image Source: Wikimedia
All seats on board the aircraft feature Audio and Video on Demand with personal television screens that can play more than 250 albums, 30 movies, 40 short films, and games. However, power ports are only available in Business Class. 

Flight TK084 will depart Istanbul Ataturk at 1:00am and arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila at 6:00pm. The return flight, TK085, departs Manila at 8:50pm, and arrives back in Istanbul at 5:05am the following day. It remains unclear which terminal Turkish Airlines will use at the airport in Manila. 

Turkish Airlines recently opened a ticketing office in Manila in an effort to attract Turkish businessmen and Filipino tourists. There are presently 35,000 passengers travelling annually between the Philippines and Turkey. However, Turkish Airlines plans to take a larger share of the overseas Filipino worker market, hoping to capture much of the European bound traffic. This will put the Turkish carrier in direct competition with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the Gulf carriers, and Philippine Airlines, which launched flights to London last year. 

It should come as no surprise that local carriers in the Philippines have been objecting to the entry of Turkish Airlines into the local market. The Turkish flag carrier is no ordinary competitor having recently been ranked the Best Airline in Europe at the 2014 World Airline Awards and the 5th Best Airline in the World. It is presently ranked as a Four-Star Airline by Skytrax.

In addition to providing top-notch quality and service, the new Manila to Istanbul route will provide European bound passengers access to the Star Alliance network and connections to more than 200 destinations worldwide including all major cities in Europe through Turkish Airlines' Istanbul hub. The entry of Turkish Airlines adds yet another competitive threat for Philippine Airlines that has been trying to re-establish its footprint in Europe.

54 comments:

  1. Nothing will please me more than to see the demise of Philippine Airlines. Very unworthy to be called as the Philippine flag carrier. The epitome of bad service PAL is.

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    Replies
    1. Obviously hindi ka pa nakasakay sa Cebu or Zest Air.

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    2. Obviously si jay-z dili frequent flier ug dili kabalu mo tan aw og airlines.jay z pal is only a 3 star airline dong....basin pal express imo nasakyan dili pal.

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  2. unsa man di ay imo gusto manoy nga gusto man nimo mawala ang PAL maayo nalang na kaysa wala pagka toytoy gyud nimo

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  3. Mas ok ang turkish airline pag balkan region or eastern region sa europe malapit lang less than 3 hours flight.

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    Replies
    1. What do you mean? Turkish Air should not fly to Manila? I-Google mo ang Turkish Airlines para malaman mo kung gaamo kalaki at kabigat ang airline na ito. Hindi lang Balkan at eastern Europe ang destinations kundi buong mundo!

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    2. İ Agree to that..one of the best airlines in the world..

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  4. PAL will definitely be in trouble.

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  5. Dear pal,
    please improve your inflight service and i hope you will recofigure your a330 to 2-4-2 seat arrangement.

    To cab,

    Please dont block foreign airlines to mount air service to our country. Your priority should be the passenger and not the airlines. Just imagine due to poor connectivity of manila airport to some cities, passenger must brave travelling for a long journey hours whereas if you allow foreign airlines to mount flights, travel time will be lessen and airticket will be more cheaper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason is naia is over the capacity and slots are rarely available.

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    2. At bakit are you a frequent business class flyer?majority of pal express and cebu pacific passengers are ofw and people in budget. most of their passengers dont really fancy IFE.pal only fly to riyahd and abu dhabi with 2-4-2 arrangement while dubai,dammam are serve by low cost pal express with over all sardines class.gets no na?!

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    3. I think the comment refers to overall in-flight service, not in-flight entertainment.

      Not only the influx of foreign airline increases the connectivity of the Philippines to other parts of the world, but this will also increase the level of competition and will force local carriers to improve the quality of their service.

      PAL's management sucks.

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    4. Meron mga taga PAL na pabalang sumagot sa mga forum. Kulang yata sa orientation. Naisip kaya nila na ang pinasok nilang trabaho ay "service industry" at ang focus ng industry nila ay mag serve sa mga OFW. At huwag i-menos ang OFW dahil ang binabayaran nilang ticket ay mas mahal pa kesa ticket ng Hongkong, Bangkok

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    5. Dependi yan sa season iho...i flew from sydney to bangkok via thai airway and that was time for songkran festival,mag nose bleed ka sa mahal ng ticket..mura lang pal from sydney to bangkok via manila....iho hindi fix ang presyo ng ticket tandaan mo ang law of demands...kahit cathay pacific sky high ang presyo during chinese holidays.

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    6. Mahina talaga ang utak ng ibang taga PAL. simple lang naman ang mensahe na huwag i-menos ang mga OFW ng Middle East dahil parati mas mahal ang ticket na binabayaran papuntang Middle East dahil sa distance compared sa ticket papuntang Bangkok or Hongkong kaya huwag i-menos sa serbisyo.

      Ang distance ng Manila to Middle East ay about 7000 km compared sa Manila to Hongkong na 1000 km and Manila to Bangkok na 2000 km. Kaya parati mas mahal ang ticket na binabayaran ng mga OFW sa MIddle East.

      PAL dont look down on the OFWs baka mapabilis pag close shop. Wala bang sharpener sa PAL? Mukha kasi meron na pudpud ang utak at kailangan ng sharpening.

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    7. Tahan na mga kababayan. Magtulungan na tayo para hindi mawala and PAL. At kayo namang empleados ng PAL, gayahin ninyo ang mga koreano, intsik, thailander at singaporeans sa kanilang trabaho at kabaitan (hindi mga talangkang nag-aaway). Mag-advance na lahat tayong mga Pinoy! Nahuhuli na tayo sa mga "parada" sa kabuhayan ng mga Asians. Kaya tama na ang away away na iyan! From Lolo Basyong, taga Amerika na.

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    8. tama ka lolo basyong na taga amerika na, pangaralan mo ng tama at paalalahanan ng mabuting pakikitungo sa mga ofw ng middle east at kaya kailangan meron IFE ang eroplano kagaya noong nagpa PAL pa ako papuntang saudi.

      Delete
  6. It's not about fancying IFEs. It's about the overall service. I won't mind paying a little extra for better service and amenities. But more often than not, prices are the same

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  7. Turkish Air is almost similar with the likes of Emirates, Etihad, Gulf Air. Turkish is a large airline serving all inhabited continents except Australia. I am not surprised why the Philippine government (CAB) is not granting daily flights to Turkish Airlines because of PAL's inability to compete with these robust middle eastern air carriers.

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  8. Living here in the east coast, this will add options traveling to MNL either by trans- pacific or trans- atlantic...

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. From the East Coast USA, you may now fly SQ to Manila via Frankfurt; Emirates Air via Dubai; Etihad via Abu Dhabi; Turkish Air via Istanbul (March, 2015). Be careful, compare air fares first (via Pacific or via Atlantic) if you want good deals. You may also check fares for round the world fares which may be better if you are adventurous. Remember, there are major airline alliances now! Sample routing: NYC, Rome, Manila, Los Angeles, NYC on Star Alliance. If it's a thousand and five hundred dollars, this is a good deal!

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    2. Not for me,i prefer direct or non stop flight.connections is too hassle and time consuming for me.

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    3. Good idea for you. But do not despair if your flight will always stop somewhere for gasoline or connecting services. It is very, very far, baby!

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    4. Its ok for refueling as long as i dont have to roam another boarding gates and ,or get lost inside the airport.yupeeeee!

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    5. As airlines spread to multiple destinations, it's the paying passenger responsibility to choose routes either direct or non direct flights to fit their convenience ..

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  9. as a husband of a pinoy i realy like this direct flight from istanbul. otherwise its takes too long to reach manila . long waiting hours in other countries . i hope turkish airlines use terminal 3 because rest of them is very very bad. terminal 1 is the worst one . actually everything is very bad in ninoy aquino :(i hope there will be more flight to other cities of Philipines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Terminal 1 has made a lot of improvement now. You may have a glimpse anytime you travel Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Manila.

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  10. Wow! That is very good to hear! Welcome to Manila, Turkish Airlines! For the last many years, people have been traveling from Manila to Istanbul through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur. Let's say someone took Singapore Airlines via Singapore, from Manila to Singapore, it will take 3 hours while it takes 11 hours to Istanbul - 14 hours flight, but even longer travel time with transit in Singapore. Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur must be same time. Let's say someone took Emirates via Dubai, it will take 8 hours to get to Dubai, and 4 hours from there to Istanbul - 12 hours flight, but even longer travel time with transit in Dubai. Etihad via Abu Dhabi, and Qatar Airways via Doha will be the same. A direct flight from Manila to Istanbul will be much more useful, for the shortest travel time of 12-13 hours flight. It will give more convenience to people, as they will not want to transit somewhere for long. Turkish Airlines may start with three times a week service, but we look forward to see daily flights over the next coming years between Istanbul and Manila, to give the best convenience to people.

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