Plans to start flying directly to and from Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim will further propel the growth of Turkish Airlines, which already has been carrying more passengers from Oslo than rivals Air France, Thai Airways and United Airlines. The airline also plans to increase its two daily flights between Oslo and Istanbul to three next spring.
“We’re one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines,” its chief in Norway, Selim Soyer, told newspaper Aftenposten. “Expansion in Norway is therefore a natural consequence.”
Passenger growth is already running at 40 percent compared to last year, topping that for all other airlines serving Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen. The airline has ordered a large fleet of new aircraft and plans call for putting some of them in service in Norway, based on strong booking numbers. Stavanger flights will start flying next spring, Bergen and Trondheim sometime after that.
Soyer said Turkish Airlines is seeing a good mix of holiday and business traffic, helped by its membership in the Star Alliance that also includes SAS and new route cooperation in Norway with SAS, while there’s also a large portion of what he calls “ethnic traffic” from Norway to the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Rune Feltman of VIA Travel, Norway’s largest travel agency, said Turkey’s increasing popularity as a holiday destination is also an important reason for the airline’s growth in the Norwegian market. Turkish also plans to continue its direct route between Oslo and Antalya on Turkey’s southern coast through the winter.