Turkish Airlines is looking to revive its growth in passenger numbers by next year as the effects of terrorism and political turmoil wane after causing a loss in 2016, said a report.
Last year, the airline posted a net loss of 47 million lira ($12.8 million) - its first annual deficit since 2000. It had booked a profit of 3 billion lira ($823 million) in 2015, said a report in Bloomberg.
Tourist and business sites in Turkey have been terrorist targets in the past year and a half, including an assault by suicide bombers in late June at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport that killed 41 people. Economic sanctions by Russia after Turkish forces shot down one of its fighter jets reduced traffic from that market in the first half of 2016. The airline’s efforts to recover from those incidents were hampered by an unsuccessful insurgency in the military to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15 that killed about 250 people.
Tourist arrivals in Turkey plunged more than 30 per cent to the lowest in a decade. The airline’s full-year loss was held back as the company reduced costs per available seat kilometer in the fourth quarter and scaled back flight offerings.
Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci confirmed that the airline will invest $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion to move to Istanbul’s new airport, starting in 2018, from its hub at Ataturk.
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