Turkish Airlines has ended months of speculation and confirmed it will operate flights to Australia, with Melbourne the city of choice for the Star Alliance member. But with the journey from Australia to Turkey is so vast, the direct flight will see a stopover in Singapore for an hour and a half in either direction. The airline also indicates that non-stop flights will become possible following delivery of ultra-long-range Airbus A350-1000 jets.
But until then, from 15th March 2024, Turkish will operate three Boeing 787-9 flights per week between Istanbul and Melbourne. After two weeks, the Dreamliners are swapped out for Airbus A350-900s, which add an additional 16 or 29 seats per flight, depending on the layout.
The winter schedule sees flight TK168 departing Istanbul at 5.30pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving into Singapore’s Changi Airport at 8.50am the following day. The flight then continues to Melbourne at 10.20am, for an 8.40pm touchdown in Melbourne.
For the return leg, TK169 will be wheels up out of Melbourne at 10.30pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Singapore at 3am. The journey continues to Istanbul at 4.30am, with a scheduled touchdown at 11.15am the following day.
Turkish Airlines has also been granted rights to sell “fifth freedom” tickets on the route, meaning you can travel betweem Australia and Singapore only, skipping the additional leg to Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines Chairman Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat mentioned the airline was delighted to meet Australians with award-winning service quality.
“Today is an important day for us. We have realized our goal of reaching the continent of Australia, which we have been successfully working on for a while,”
“In the coming years, we plan to strengthen our presence in this beautiful country by increasing both the frequency of our flights and the number of our destinations,” adds Mr Bolat.
There’s also a special launch price for Turkish Airlines’ new service, with economy class from 1499 AUD return.