A Legend That Started In A Small Hangar: Thy 90 Years Old

The legend of THY, which started as a dream in a small hangar, turns 90 years old. Starting with 5 airplanes and 23 seats, Turkish Airlines now flies to 344 destinations in 129 countries, 291 international and 53 domestic.

Turkish Airlines (THY), which has become Turkey’s best-known brand in the world today, was founded 90 years ago on May 20, 1933 as the ‘State Administration of Airlines’. Until 1935, the institution was affiliated to the Ministry of National Defense, and then to the Ministry of Public Works.

5 Aircraft And 23 Seats

When THY first started out, it had 5 airplanes and a capacity of 23 seats. The first plane was an American Curtiss King Bird D-2 model, named ‘Butterfly’, and could carry only 5 passengers on board. The first flight was made between Istanbul and Ankara on February 3, 1933, with a connecting flight to Eskişehir.

In 1935, THY, which was renamed as the General Directorate of State Airlines, made its first international flight on February 12, 1947 from Ankara to Athens with a connection in Istanbul.

Became Turkish Airlines In 1955

On May 21, 1955, the company was transformed into Turkish Airlines Joint Stock Company and started to be known as ‘THY’. Among the shareholders of the company were the Ministry of Finance, various press institutions and publishing houses. In 1964, flights to Brussels, Munich, Tel Aviv, in 1965 to Amsterdam, Belgrade, Tabriz, in 1967 to Zurich, Budapest, Geneva, in 1969 to Cologne, in 1971 to Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, in 1972 to Hanover, Hamburg, in 1973 to Copenhagen, and in 1973 to Nuremberg.

Intercontinental Flight

In 1983, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary, THY carried its 2.5 millionth passenger and became a State Economic Enterprise (SOE) in 1984. In 1985, flights to the Far East and across the Atlantic Ocean began. In 2001, reservations were made through the call center.

In 2013, the airline flew to 241 destinations worldwide, 199 of which were international destinations and 42 domestic destinations, earning the title of ‘The Airline with the Most Destinations in the World’.

Istanbul Is Booming With The Airport

In 2016, the coup attempt affected aviation as it did all other sectors. However, THY quickly recovered and started to take off again with the positive impact of Istanbul Airport. In addition to its flight destinations, it became the favorite of domestic and foreign passengers with its ancillary services. It made a global impact in terms of public relations by sponsoring Hollywood movies and world-famous sports clubs. It received many awards in Europe and around the world.

Flying to 344 Destinations

Today, THY flies to 344 destinations in 129 countries, including 289 international and 53 domestic destinations, with 415 passenger and cargo aircraft. Founded in 1997, Turkish Airlines is a member of StarAlliance and has airplanes capable of carrying 400 passengers at a time. As of 2022, THY has the 9th largest fleet in the world, and has organizations such as Turkish Cargo, Turkish Technic Inc. and Turkish Aviation Academy. It also has subsidiaries such as Anadolu Jet, SunExpress, Air Albania, B&H Airlines at various rates.

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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