Turkish Airlines Increasing Manila Flights to Daily in October

Following the signing of a new air services agreement between Turkey and the Philippines, Turkish Airlines will be increasing its three weekly flights between Istanbul and Manila to daily service beginning in October.

turkish airlines a340
Image Source: Wikimedia
According to Carmelo Arcilla, Executive Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the new agreement expands the maximum allowable flights between Istanbul and Manila from three to seven weekly flights. In addition, fourteen flights per week will be allowed between Turkey and all other international airports in the Philippines with the exception of Manila.

Turkish Airlines recently began offering flights between the two countries in March 2015. Besides Philippine Airlines' non-stop service to London, it is the only other non-stop flight between the Philippines and Europe. KLM operates a one-stop service to Amsterdam via Taipei.

The Turkish carrier has been eyeing daily flights to Manila for quite some time. Istanbul, the carrier's main hub, is a major gateway to Europe, where passengers can connect to more than 100 destinations in Europe.

As part of the new air agreement, the Philippines was also granted fifth freedom rights where Philippine carriers would be permitted to operate flights from Manila to Istanbul via Tel Aviv or from Manila to Istanbul and onwards to Frankfurt. Fifth freedom rights enable carriers to pick up and drop off passengers between intermediary points. This would provide Philippine Airlines with the right to sell tickets between Istanbul and Tel Aviv or Istanbul and Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is hoping to bank on the success of the new flights between Istanbul and Manila to encourage Turkish Airlines to open direct services to other Philippine cities. Last year, nearly 5,000 tourists from Turkey arrived in the Philippines. That figure is expected to double within the next two years. 

According to Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Turkey is an important and lucrative market for the Philippines. "We all know that Cebu is a very strong tourist destination," said Bengzon. "The next step is that we have to show Turkish Airlines the travel and tour opportunities here."

Turkish Airlines currently operates service between Manila and Istanbul every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Flights arrive in Manila at 6:00pm and depart for Istanbul at 8:50pm. Flights are operated by an Airbus A340-300 aircraft and last approximately 11 hours and 50 minutes. 

Turkish Airlines is expanding its capacity in the Philippines as it attempts to leverage renewed global interest and the impressive economic growth in the country to attract more tourists and business travellers. 

According to Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil, the flights will boost trade between Turkey and the Philippines. "We're very excited to bring our renowned in-flight services to Filipinos, and we hope that our new flights to Manila will boost trade between our two countries," said Kotil.

When flights between the two countries were launched on March 30, the Philippines became the 109th country in the Turkish Airlines network, while Manila becomes the carrier's 264th destination.


  1. Turkish Airlines has just scored a double down winner over the recent Turkey/RP bilateral air agreement. Aside from MNL, it can land its aircrafts in Cebu, Davao, Clark, Laoag, and other cities which have international airports. This means that Turkish or TK can funnel its European, African, North American passengers who are headed to Manila via Istanbul! Besides, Turkey is a real tourist destination where passengers can make stop over before proceeding to their ultimate Manila destination. Compare that with Emirates Dubai and Etihad's Abu Dhabi and it is clear, there is no competition for these stopovers. Turkey is also a thickly populated country where religion is considered moderate even though it is officially a Muslim country but there are other religions like Christianity (including Eastern Orthodox) and others which the Turkish people somehow embrace or do not make a big deal about it. The bottom line is that people are happy and contented because they have natural resources and jobs inside their country and in Germany and other Western European countries where they shine well because they are industrious and resilient - ability to blend well in any type of work environment. For PAL, it is also good to have fifth freedom rights over the Tel-Aviv to Istanbul to Frankfurt/Europe route because Filipinos can easily have access to the Holy Land which is a pilgrimage place for Christians. The bottom line now is how PAL would be able to impose an aggressive marketing scheme to sell itself to the world. TK has been considered a four-star airline with lots of financial resources, so may the better airline wins! You can do it, PAL...

  2. Do not forget that TK also flies to South America, i.e., Sao Paolo, Brazil - which connects to Argentina, Chile, and other major cities there. It will also fly northward to Bogota, Colombia this coming September, 2015. As a top-seed member of Star Alliance, TK is a good airline to fly if you also want to earn miles and miles and miles.

  3. As a follow up - daily flights were scrapped. As October approaches, TKs schedule remains at three weekly departures.

  4. From propellers to jet turbines, the evolution of aircraft propulsion is a fascinating journey. AV8 Prep how to become a pilot


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