Last updated: 11:53 AM ET, Sun May 15 2016

Turkish Airlines Starts Atlanta Service On Monday

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | May 15, 2016

Turkish Airlines Starts Atlanta Service On Monday

PHOTO: Turkish Airlines (Courtesy Thinkstock)

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will break out the water cannons and the red carpet on Monday to welcome Turkish Airlines to the ATL, the latest move by the carrier as it continues to expand its brand.

The inaugural Turkish Airlines flight, a Boeing 777-300ER, is expected to touch down in Atlanta just after 5 p.m. ET, ushering in new daily, nonstop service between Atlanta and Istanbul.

“We are thrilled to welcome Turkish Airlines to Atlanta,” Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell said in a statement. “These daily flights will open up business and leisure opportunities for thousands of new customers from both sides of the Atlantic.”

Turkish Airlines, once a sleeping giant among European and Middle East carriers, is sleeping no more. It certainly is doing its part to help revive a flagging tourism industry in Turkey – daily service to Atlanta, where there are 14 Fortune 500 businesses, should certainly help business travel – and for the Turkish Airlines brand.

The carrier has upped its ad budget, including taking a surprising, but major, sponsorship role on the biggest ad day in the world when it cross-promoted the film “Batman vs. Superman” in February during the Super Bowl.

Turkish Airlines also took a top global sponsorship role for one of soccer’s premier events, the UEFA EURO 2016 tournament.

In addition, Boeing is set to deliver a record number of airplanes this year to Turkish Airlines – in total, the carrier will take delivery of six 777-300ERs and 20 Next-Generation 737-800s in 2016.

“Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s ascendant airlines and an established global network carrier,” Ahmet Bolat, Chief Investment and Technology Officer, Turkish Airlines, said in a statement. “The delivery of a further 26 Boeing aircraft this year, which form a substantial part of our long-haul and short-haul fleets, are integral to Turkish’s continued growth and we look forward to introducing the new planes on our domestic and international network.”

“We are pleased that Turkish Airlines’ continues to show faith in Boeing’s products and services,” Monty Oliver, vice president, European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, also said in the statement. “We have a strong relationship with the airline and are honored that we continue to play a key part in supporting its ambitious growth plans.”

Atlanta joins eight other U.S. cities served by Turkish Airlines. The others are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco.

Hartsfield-Jackson landed Turkish Airlines as part of its Air Service Incentive Program (ASIP). The program waives parking and landing fees and provides marketing benefits to airlines that start cargo and passenger service to new international destinations.

Turkish Airlines currently offers service to 113 countries, with flights to 284 destinations.

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