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See our flights to Turkey page for more information on travelling to the country.
Turkish Airlines offers flights to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport (Turkey) and onwards to the rest of the world from South Africa (Johannesburg and Cape Town). Flights are in Airbus A330-300s. Flights from Cape Town have a technical stop in Johannesburg on their way to Istanbul, to pick up passengers (CPT-IST takes some 13 hours). From the 30th of October 2016, Turkish Airlines will offer year-round direct flights from Cape Town.Flights from Johannesburg to Istanbul are scheduled to take about 10 hours.
The airline just took home the most Skytrax Awards for 2015, including awards for being the Best Airline in Europe, Best Business Class Airline Catering, Best Business Class Lounge Dining and Best Airline in Southern Europe awards. They also took fourth spot in the World's Best Airlines award.
Turkish Airlines is rated 4/5 based on 3 customer reviews
Free tours through Istanbul : If you have a waiting time of 6 hours or more at Ataturk Airport, then you can go for a free tour of Istanbul, seeing the Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, German Fountain, Hippodrome, Obelisk of Thedosius, Serpentine Column and Topkapi Palace. Show up at least half an hour before the tour leaves at the arrival hall hotel desk.
29 June 2016. Following what has been labelled a terrorist attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last night, Turkish Airlines had to cancel and reroute several flights. Thee explosions rocked the airport last night as gunmen also armed with explosive vests wreaked havoc in Turkey's main airport. Although several flights were either cancelled or rerouted, Ataturk is Turkish Airlines' hub. Operations at Ataturk Airport however resumed early this morning and all Turkish Airlines flights are currently operational. However Turkish Airlines flights from South Africa to Istanbul are still suspended.
21 June 2016. Turkish Airlines are introducing direct flights from Cape Town to Istanbul from the 30th of October 2016. These daily flights will be available year-round, with just a slight shift in the schedule with the change in seasons. Find all the details in our latest newsletter.
17 May 2016. Turkish Airlines are adding an additional daily flight between Istanbul and Durban, increasing the weekly flights from four to five. The additional flight will be introduced on the 31st of October 2016.
13 January 2016. Turkish Airlines are introducing a fourth flight per week on the Istanbul - Port-Louis - Antanarivo flights. From the 8th of February 2016, they will operate this route on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
28 May 2015. Turkish Airlines are adding flights to Bamako, Mali. There will be three weekly flights, two operating via Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and one operating via Niamey, Niger.
23 April 2015. Turkish Airlines will split their current services to South Africa. Currently the airline has one daily flight that flies to Cape Town via Johannesburg, and one direct flight to Johannesburg from Istanbul. From the 26th of October 2015 they will start flying directly to Cape Town from Istanbul, and there is a possibility that their direct flight to Johannesburg will be routed via Maputo. The Johannesburg flight will depart Istanbul at 00h50 and arrive in JNB at 10h40. The return flight will leave JNB at 19h45 and arrive in Istanbul at 05h20. The Cape Town flight will depart Istanbul at 01h15 and arrive in Cape Town at 12h50. The return flight will leave Cape Town at 18h00 and arrive at 05h00. Both flights will be operated by an Airbus A330-300.
26 Jun 2014. Flights commence from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Pisa, starting with 4 a week
10 Jun 2014. Turkish Airlines increases its frequency of Istanbul to Boston flights, to daily.
12 May 2014. Turkish Airlines commences 5 weekly flights from Istanbul to Boston.
4 March 2014. Four weekly flight to Rotterdam commence.
27 Oct 2013. Turkish Airlines commences flights from Istanbul to Djibouti & Mogadishu.
1 Sep 2013. Turkish Airlines beings Istanbul to Kathmandu (Nepal) flights.
2 Aug 2013. It's reported that a proposal for selling 100% of Olympic Air to Turkish Airlines has been submitted.
15 Jun 2013. Flights from Istanbul to Cairo (CAI) are increased from 17 to 21 a week.
13 Jun 2013. Flight frequency from Istanbul to Alexandria is increased from 4 weekly flights to a daily service. Flights are operated in A320 and B737 planes.
3 Jun 2013. Flights are launched from Istanbul Ataturk to Gassim in Saudia Arabia.
20 May 2013. A domestic flight route is launched from Istanbul Ataturk to Isparta on B737-800s.
1 Apr 2013. Houston's Mayor has announced that Turkish Airways will begin flying from Istanbul to Houston from the 1st April 2013: " "Houston has become the gateway to the world. Our global business structure helps our economy thrive and our job market remains the envy of the nation. These four new weekly flights will surely lead to increased economic opportunity for both Istanbul and Houston."
4 Dec 2012. Turkish Airlines commences 5 weekly Istanbul - Kilimanjaro - Mombasa flights in Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.
24 Sep 2012. It's reported that Turkish Airlines plan to start flying from Mozambique to Istanbul.
29 May 2007. Turkish Airlines starts flying from Istanbul to Cape Town via Johannesburg.
1996. Turkish Airlines commences flights to Johannesburg.
2015-03-10. Rating 5/5 : We flew Turkish Airlines to Beijing via Istanbul. What was fantastic was the fact that the airline offered a free day’s outing in Istanbul which included a guide, lunch and transport. We were told where to meet the guide and had a great day seeing all the sights. The food on the flight was good and the ticket price was extremely competitive. The website in particular was helpful and user friendly. We also received packs on board the flight which contained the usual toothbrush and socks but what was different was the fact that the pack was contained in what we used to use as metal pencil boxes at school. I am still using the box now to keep my pens in at work and it is a great and practical reminder of the trip. Sharon Ellison
2013-08-26. Rating 3/5 : When on Turkish airways to Malaga, Spain we had some funny / awkward incidences. For one, a mistake was made with an elderly couple's tickets and they refused to move even though their tickets did not correlate with the seats they were sitting on. The crew was very upset about this and were harsh with the couple, threatening to forcibly remove them. It became quite entertaining, as the old grandpa was very stubborn! The grandpa moaned throughout the flight and this event seemed to affect the crew negatively throughout the flight. For the most part, they were all unfriendly and sour to everyone. It's horrible when people can't just move on (figuratively and literally;). Anonymous submission in South Africa Travel Awards
2013-07-25. Rating 4/5 : The last time I travelled with Turkish Airline both my suitcases were broken & I had 4kgs missing. When I sent them an email, they replied to me by email with a virus. After I opened & read the email from Turkish Airlines, at the bottom of the email it said this mail contains a virus. After that when I opened any mail a big white page covered everything in my mails, it was so bad that I could not even sign out so I had to have my email address deleted else it would go on my notebook! I do hope it never happens to anyone again. That was mean of Turkish airlines to send virus with email. My flight itself was very good to South Africa & back. I would rate Turkish Airlines 4. The problem is with Turkish Airlines office staff & not the airport or flight. Tisha
10 May 2013. 'We flew Turkish Airlines to the States last year and they were fantastic! (Nothing compares to the Middle Eastern airlines when it comes to service!) They also laid on a free day tour of Istanbul and 4* accommodation so we could grab a quick shower and a few hours kip. It's offered to all travellers who are in transit for longer than 8 hours "but not many people know about it!"' Bron
2013-07-22 B777-300ER Option Exercised : Turkish Airlines have exercised an option they have to buy 5 Boeing 777-300ER planes, which will be delivered in 2016 & 2017.
2013-06-18 117 more Planes Ordered : Turkish Airilnes have ordered another 117 planes from Airbus at the Paris Airshow; including 4 A320s, 25 A321s, 53 A21 Neos, as well as options for another 25 A321s.
5 May 2017. Turkish Airlines is changing their baggage policy to align with that of their Star Alliance partners. The airline is moving over to the piece concept, allowing travellers 2 pieces of up to 23 kg each (in economy). The new policy came into effect on the 1st of May 2017 and will be applied from the 1st of July 2017. Therefore if your ticket was issued before the 1st of May 2017 but you are travelling after the 1st of July 2017, the new policy applies. Otherwise the policy as printed on your ticket is applicable.
13 Jan 2017. Turkish Airlines will kit their new narrow-body aircraft with the latest and greatest in entertainment and communication technology courtesy of Panasonic's eX1. Passengers will also be able to make use of social media and access the internet during flights. The customised Live Text News will also keep passengers up to date with the latest developments. They'll also have access to live television and global Wi-Fi. No reason to reschedule flights in order to catch a World Cup Final anymore!
27 Aug 2015. Turkish Airlines announced today that they will be expanding in South Africa with Durban flights. Official dates have not yet been released.
1 Dec 2014. Turkish Airlines will be offering direct flights to Istanbul from Cape Town and Johannesburg from 26 October 2015 on their A330-300 Aircraft, effectively doubling the capacity. This is in accordance with the increasing demand from the South African market.
27 Dec 2013. A Turkish Airlines employee is stabbed and killed by robbers in the company's offices in Tripoli, Libya; and another employee injured.
13 December 2013 : Turkish Airlines has cancelled 81 flights due to heavy snowfall in Istanbul. Travellers are advised to contact the airline (0861 88 7547) before their flight.
2013-12-11 A Turkish Airlines plane on its way from Istanbul to the Iranian city of Isfahan, is struck by lightning and makes an emergency landing.
2013-09-08 Turkish Airlines launches a fragrance called TK1933 to provide recognition of its brand.
2013-08-29 Turkish Airlines' net operating profit increased by 190% in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, and number of passengers increased by 26%.
Turkish Airlines have introduced their "flying service chef" on business flights from Istanbul to Doha.
2013-07-22 Marketing Award : Turkish Airlines have won The Airline Strategy Award for marketing, with ads like the Manchester United soccer team playing inside a plane.
25 Jun 2013 Turkish Airlines appoints Sprinklr to provide its presence on social media. "Being able to connect with our customers quickly and consistently, regardless of where there they are traveling in the world is a key business priority for Turkish Airlines. Our passengers are socially engaged with our brand and Sprinklr's sophisticated, yet simple platform gives us peace of mind that each of our business units are in synch when communicating with customers online and that they are speaking in a unified brand voice." said Turkish Air's marketing manager, Neset Dereli.
25 Jan 2013 Turkish Airlines Valentines Day advert: "Where would you like to warm your hearts on Valentines Day? Turkish Airlines has a special gift for you. Spread your love all over the world with Turkish Airlines from February the 9th to the 15th and pay only 1 Euro for your Valentine for all flights departing from Istanbul. When 2 hearts meet as one tickets with miles and smiles cost only 1 Euro".
Jan 2012 Turkish Airlines' safety video featuring the Manchester United soccer team:
30 Nov 2012. Air Canada enters into a code sharing agreement with Turkish Airlines. The President of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil, says that "We are extremely delighted to sign the code share agreement with Air Canada, as this code share partnership serves as an example of Turkish Airlines' target to maximize the travel opportunities offered to passengers through the extensive networks of both airlines. This new code share agreement enables the customers to enjoy both the global network and the seamless service arising from the cooperation. We will have a chance to transfer our passengers to more US and Canadian domestic destinations via Toronto by connecting our networks."
19 Oct 2012. The first phase of a large-scale implementation of SAP software has been concluded. The Chief Executive of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil, said: "With this step, we made a significant progress on our journey to operational excellence. We will keep moving toward this target with the next phases of the project."
10 May 2012. A Turkish Airways flight TK-40 from Instabul to Johannesburg is diverted to Entebbe, after the crew had to shut an engine down. The plane was an Airbus A330-300 (registration TC-JNM). A replacement aircraft, also an Airbus A330-300 (registration TC-JNL) ferried the passengers from Entebbe to Johannesburg with a 22 hours delay.
26 April 2012
Flights to Bremen are introduced.
30 Mar 2012
In a wonderful gesture to their employees, Turkish Airlines have designed a plane with picture of 17,000 of their staff drawn on it.
20 May 1933
Under the Ministry of National Defence's supervision, a State Airlines Administration is founded. The fleet initially comprises an ATH-9, 2 King Birds & 2 Junders F-13.
2013-06-19 Best Airline in Europe : Turkish Airlines have been awarded the Best Airline in Europe award by Skytrax at the Paris Airshow.
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Turkish Airways has one of the most generous baggage allowances in the industry, offering a free checked-in baggage allowance of 30kg to most destinations, but on flights to the United States offering two pieces at a maximum of 23kg each.
Flights to Turkey: Adana, Adiyaman, Agri, Ankara, Antalya, Amasya Merzifon, Arbil, Batman, Bodrum, Dalaman, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Isparta, Izmir, Karamanmaras, Kars, Kayseri, Konya, Malatya, Mardin, Mus, Samsun, Sinop, Sivas, Sanliurfa, Trabzon, Van, Usak.
International Flights: Abu Dhabi, Accra, Addis Ababa, Agri, Aleppo, Alexandria, Algiers, Almaty, Amman, Amsterdam, Ashgabad, Astana, Athens, Baghdad, Bahrain, Baku, Bangkok, Barcelona, Basle, Basra, Batumi, Beijing, Beirut, Belgrade, Benghazi, Berlin, Birmingham, Bishkek, Bologna, Bremen, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, Chicago, Chisinau, Cologne, Copenhagen, Dammam, Dakar, Damascus, Dar Es Salaam, Delhi, Dhaka, Dnepropetrovsk, Doha, Donetsk, Dubai, Dublin, Dushanbe, Dusseldorf, Ekaterinburg, Entebbe, Frankfurt, Geneva, Genoa, Goteborg, Guangzhou, Hamburg, Hannover, Helsinki, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hong Kong, Houston, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kabul, Karachi, Kazan, Khartoum, Kiev, Kilimanjaro, Kuwait, Lagos, Nicosia, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Los Angeles, Lvov, Lyon, Malaga, Madrid, Manchester, Mashad, Medina, Milan, Minsk, Misurata, Mombasa, Moscow, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Novosibirsk, Nairobi, Naples, New York, Nice, Nuremberg, Odessa, Osaka, Oslo, Paris, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Riga, Riyadh, Rome, Rostov, Saigon, Sanaa, Sao Paulo, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Simferepol, Singapore, Skopje, Sochi, Sofia, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Sulaymaniyah, Tabriz, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Tirana,Thessaloniki, Tirane, Tokyo, Toronto, Toulouse, Tripoli, Tunis, Turin, Ufa, Valencia, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw, Washington, Zagreb, Zurich.