1933 - 1945 Establishment


  • The "State Airlines Administration" operating under the supervision of the Ministry of National Defense has been established on the 20th of  May.
  • The initial budget of the organization headed by one of the first Turkish aviators Mr. Fesa Evrensev was 180 thousand Turkish Liras and the organization employed a total of 24 personnel comprised of seven pilots, eight mechanics, eight officers and a radio operator.
  • The first fleet comprised of 2 King Birds (having 5 seats), 2 Junkers F-13 (having 4 seats) and an ATH-9 (having 10 seats).


  • Retired pilot commissioned officer Aynî Bey has replaced Mr. Evrensev's position as director general.


  • The Administration started operating under the Ministry of Public Works which at the time was called "Nafia Vekâleti".


  • "Mr. Sevket Ari has become the director general.
  • With new aircraft purchases, the number of airplanes in the fleet had risen to eight, the number of seats reached 64 and the budget was increased to 1 million Liras.


  • 6 D-Havilland Domini airplanes have joined the fleet.


  • With the addition of 5 Junkers 52. Seating capacity has been increased to 185.


  • With the addition of 30 Douglas DC-3s and 3 C-47s, the number of aircraft in the fleet reached 52 and the seating capacity has been increased to 845. Thus, the number of cities flown to, which was three at the time, has increased to 19 cities.

1946 - 1956 The Rise of Turkish Airlines


  • The State Airlines Department has been renamed as the General Directorate of the State Airlines Administration and veteran pilot colonel Osman Nuri Baykal has been appointed as the director general.


  • The first international voyage "Ankara-Istanbul-Athens" was flown on the 12th of February. 
  • Emphasis has been placed on advertisements and promotions to increase the number of passengers. 


  • The destinations of Nicosia, Beirut and Cairo have been included in the flight schedule of the fleet which now had a total of 33 aircraft and a seating capacity of 720 seats.


  • The first Hadj voyages have been made. The citizens who attended the Hadj pilgrimage have been offered a more comfortable and faster means of transportation.
  • The construction of the international airport which was decided to be built with the ratification of the Chicago Agreement has been completed and put into service in the Yesilkoy district of Istanbul. The airport possessed a runway built according to internationally accepted standards, a modern passenger terminal, maintenance hangars and electronic radio equipment. 


  • Mr. Riza Cercel has been appointed as the director general.


  • On the 21st of May, the title "General Directorate of the State Airlines Administration" has been changed by Law number 6623 to its current name: Turkish Airlines.

1956 - 1967 Incorporation


  • Turkish Airlines Inc. was established on the 1st of March with a capital stock of 60 million TL .
  • Turkish Airlines joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) an industry oversight body established by the world’s airlines in order to facilitate commercial, technical, managerial and economic cooperation and to prevent unfair competition among its members.


  • BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) became a partner of Turkish Airlines with 6.5% equity share after Turkish Airlines was opened to foreign capital investments. The BOAC Director General, Sir George Cribbett, was appointed as a Member of the Board of Directors of Turkish Airlines.
  • Turkish Airlines joined SITA (Airlines Worldwide Telecommunications and Information Services), which is an international organization that provides communication services to airlines.
  • The fleet consisted of 28 aircraft including 19 DC-3 and 7 Heron passenger planes and 2 C-47 cargo planes.


  • 5 Viscount 794 turboprop aircraft joined the fleet. A new era in the history of civil aviation began with the switch from piston to jet engines.
  • Between 1956 and 1958 the number of passengers carried doubled and reached 394,000.


  • Sales offices were opened in Rome and Athens.


  • 6 new F-27 turboprop aircraft joined the fleet.
  • Frankfurt was added to the Ankara-Istanbul-Athens route, expanding the airline’s network into Germany.


  • New routings were added with the inauguration of a thrice-weekly Ankara-Istanbul-Vienna-Frankfurt service.
  • Turkish pilots Zihni Barin and Nurettin Gurun brought 2 new F-27 aircraft from the USA to Istanbul; a 30-hour delivery flight.
  • The Wild Goose emblem designed by Mesut Manioglu won first place in a competition and became the airline's logo.


  • Veteran Major General Sahap Metel was appointed as the Director General. The fleet numbered 34 aircraft with a total seat capacity of 1,120.


  • Services to Brussels, Munich and Tel Aviv were launched.


  • The network grew with the addition of Amsterdam, Belgrade and Tabriz.

1967 - 1980 Transition to the Jet Era and Overseas Expansion


  • 3 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airplanes were added to the fleet of which 1 had been chartered. 
  • The first international jet flight has been realized on the Ankara-Istanbul-Brussels line on the 1st of September. 
  • The Zurich, Budapest and Geneva route have been put into service.
  • The demand for fuel which was supplied by a foreign company has begun to be supplied by Petrol Ofisi through a new agreement. 


  • In 1968, the airline's capital stock of 90 million TL has been increased to 200 million TL.


  • The Cologne route has been put into service.
  • 2 DC-9 airplanes joined the fleet. 


  • 4 more DC-9 airplanes joined the fleet.


  • The Düsseldorf and Stuttgart route have been put into service.
  • The fleet was comprised of a total of 22 aircraft namely; 3 Viscount, 7 F-27, 8 DC-9-30, 1 DC-9-10 and 3 B-707 jet airplanes and had a total seating capacity of 1,961 seats.


  • The Hannover and Hamburg route have been put into service.
  • 2 DC-10 airplanes have joined the fleet and the total seating capacity has increased to 2,669. 
  • Capital stock has been increased by 100% from 200 million to 400 million Liras. 


  • The journey that has begun 40 years ago with 24 personnel has become a giant family of 4,437 members. 
  • 5 F-28 aircraft have joined the fleet and the number of airplanes in the fleet has reached 26.
  • The Copenhagen, Berlin and Nurnberg route have been put into service. 
  • The number of passengers carried has increased from 528 thousand in 1967 to 2.5 million in 1973.


  • On December 4th, the Cyprus Turkish Airlines has been established with the 50% partnership of Turkish Airlines. 
  • 3 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 (Double corridor, 345 seat capacity) aircraft has been purchased and the airline has become the first customer of these airplanes in Europe. 


  • Customers' requests and complaints have been gathered through surveys conducted in domestic flights.
  • THY which had been opened for foreign capital investments 20 years ago has again been nationalized with the decision of the Ministry of Finance dated 17.2.1977 and numbered 53315/6967 and the share of the BOAC company was bought by the Ministry of Finance. 


  • The Baghdad, Tehran, Dhahran and Tripoli route have been put into service. 
  • The fleet comprised of 22 airplanes with a seating capacity of 3,306 seats and the number of passengers carried has reached approximately 3 million. 

1980 - 1990 Growth


  • The Cairo route was put into service.


  • The airline became an international aviation organization possessing 27 aircraft, 3.-909 seats and 5.-735 personnel.


  • On the 50th year of its establishment, the airline was operating in 3 continents with a seating capacity of 4.-037 seats and has carried 30 thousand tons of cargo and 2.5 million passengers with its 30 aircraft. 
  • The number of personnel employed has reached 5.-775. 
  • The first in flight magazine was published by the name of “THY Magazine”.


  • The airline's capital stock which had been 60 million TL in 1955 has reached 20 billion TL in 1982 and 60 billion TL in 1984. 
  • The airline attained the status of a state owned enterprise.  


  • Far East and Transatlantic flights have begun with the addition of 4 Airbus A310s to the fleet. 
  • The implementation of First Class services has begun in the Jeddah and London flights and was later incorporated into other flights.  
  • The Information Processing Center in the Ataturk Airport has been put into service. All reservation and lost baggage transaction have begun to be managed in an electronic environment. 


  • Flights begun to the Far East with the opening of the Singapore route in the month of June.


  • Capital stock has been increased to 150 billion TL in the month of July. 
  • The New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Lyon route have been put into service and the number of overseas destinations served has been increased to 42.
  • The number of international passengers has reached 1 million and the total number of passengers exceeded 3.5 million.


  • The Helsinki, Tunisia, Algiers, Oslo, Basel and New York route have been put into service. The 4th continent has begun to be served with the New York flights.


  • The Baggage Handling System (BAHAMAS) has begun to be implemented in order to provide rapid baggage services. 
  • The Tokyo, Bangkok and Moscow route have been put into service.
  • 2 Airbus aircraft have joined the fleet.
  • THY Magazine was renamed Skylife.
  • The SunExpress Airlines has been established with the equal partnership of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa Airlines. 

1990 - 2003 Overseas Expansion


  • In March, the airline's capital stock attained a value of 700 billion TL. 
  • Within the scope of the company’s privatization plan, 1.53% of the airline was offered to the public.
  • The airline was linked to the State Partnership Administration.
  • The Benghazi and Budapest routes were inaugurated.


  • The first B-737s joined the fleet.
  • The airline's capital stock value reached 2 trillion TL in September.


  • The airline's capital stock has reached 2 trillion TL in the month of December.
  • A total of 69 destinations were served, 14 domestic and 55 international.
  • The fleet was refurbished both inside and out, including a new aircraft livery. Simultaneously, the uniforms worn by the flight crew and ground personnel were updated. 
  • Catering services were revamped and improved with multiple-choice menus available on overseas flights. 
  • Routes to Bahrain and Strasbourg route were begun.
  • A total of 8 new aircraft; 6 B737-400s and 2 B737-500s joined the fleet. 


  • The total destinations served rose to 78, 23 domestic and 55 international.
  • The aircraft renewal program resulted in a fleet with an average age of just 6,2 years. 
  • In July, A340-300s and RJ-100s began to join the fleet. 
  • In the course of the year, 11 Boeing 737s and 2 A340-300 aircraft  joined the fleet. With the addition of the Airbus 340s, direct flights to Tokyo were possible and they were operated with three different classes of service; First, Business and Economy Class.


  • Capital stock value reached 6 trillion TL in the month of January. 
  • In July, 3 more A340-300s joined the fleet. 
  • On the 27th of November, the airline attained the status of being a state owned enterprise; under the supervision of the R.O.T. Prime Ministry Directorate of the Privatization Administration and within the scope of Law number 4046


  • In February, First Class cabins were added to the A310-318s. 
  • In March, the registered capital stock value reached 10 trillion TL.
  • During the year 3 B737-400s, 2 RJ-100s, 1 A340-300, 7 B737-400s and 3 RJ-100s have joined the fleet. 
  • Canakkale, Bodrum and Tokat were added to the domestic network; while Osaka and Tirana joined the list of international destinations served. 
  • 3  B727-200 aircraft were converted to cargo planes. 


  • The www.thy.com website was established and put into service. 
  • Konya, Sinop and Kahramanmaras were added as domestic destinations; while Tbilisi, Sarajevo and Johannesburg increased the number of international destinations served. 
  • As 4 new A340-300s joined the fleet, 4 B727-200 airplanes were retired. 
  • In the month of December, the registered capital stock value had reached 50 trillion TL.
  • Airbus recognized THY as the “Company that utilizes A340 aircraft in the most efficient manner in the world". Additionally, THY pilots were appointed by Airbus as training pilots. 


  • 5 A340-300 aircraft joined the fleet. 
  • On the 31st of October, a Block Space agreement was concluded with Japan Airlines on the Istanbul-Osaka-Istanbul route.  


  • On the 30th of March, a new partnership was formed among 5 large European airlines and named “The Qualiflyer Group”. 
  • A series of Block Space agreements were signed global partners;
  • Austrian Airlines in March, covering flights from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir to Vienna.
  • Swissair in August for flights from Istanbul to Zurich, Geneva and Basel and flights from Izmir to Zurich. 
  • Croatia Airlines in October for flights between Istanbul and Zagreb. 
  • Japan Airlines in November for Istanbul-Tokyo flights. 
  • 6 new generation B737-800 airplanes joined the fleet in November. 
  • The airline was recognized by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce with a First Place Golden Plaque, honoring THY as the organization that brought the most foreign currency into Turkey.  


  • With the addition of 9 B737-800 and 6 A340-300 aircraft, the fleet numbered 75 aircraft of three different types, carrying 10,6 million passengers annually.
  • In September, a Code Share agreement was been signed with Malaysian Airlines on the Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route. 
  • In November, the registered capital stock increased to 175 trillion TL.


  • 7 B737-800 and 1 A340-300 aircraft joined the fleet. 
  • At the end of March, the agreement signed with Austrian Airlines was terminated but new agreements were concluded as follows: 
  • Asiana Airlines in May between Istanbul and Seoul. 
  • American Airlines in October, providing connections to 10 US domestic destinations from New York, Miami and Chicago.
  • On the 29th of October three new partners joined THY with Block Space agreements; Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, LOT Polish Airlines to Warsaw and Czech Airlines to Prague.
  • In September, the first commercial flight was launched to Sydney for the Olympic games. 
  • In October, THY passengers were invited to join the loyalty program, “Miles & Smiles”.
  • Shanghai and Seoul were added to the network.


  • 2 B737-800 airplanes joined the fleet and 6 A310-200 aircraft were retired and sold to Iran Air. 
  • A Code Share agreement was concluded with SunExpress for Antalya-Frankfurt. 
  • On January 29th flights were begun to Ankara using Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport. 
  • The Reservation Call Center ( 444 0 THY/444 0 849) began operations.


  • 2 B-737-800 airplanes have joined the fleet.
  • The Prishtina route has been put into service.

2003 - 2012 Global Brand


  • Service to New Delhi was begun on the 18th of September, and in Turkey, flights to Sivas started on the 17th of October.
  • The services between Istanbul and New Delhi became a partnership with Air India on the 3rd of November, now covered by a Code Share agreement signed with Air India.  
  • On 9 December, electronic ticketing was begun and online check-in procedures were adopted.


  • Also in September, Turkish Airlines inaugurated the "Customer Relations Online Service Center" where customers could register their opinions and complaints using the airline’s website, www.turkishairlines.com.tr.
  • According to the yearly report published by the Association of European Airlines in December, THY ranked number two among AEA airlines in terms of punctuality and had the second lowest number of mishandled bags.
  • The number of passengers carried exceeded 12 million.


  • The annual audit report of the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) completed in February revealed that many units in the THY Maintenance Center operated with zero (0) faults.
  • On the 27th of March, Casablanca was added to the network, followed by Lisbon on the 7th of June, Oslo on the 21st of June and Astana on the 19th of October.
  • Dr. Temel Kotil was appointed as the Director General of Turkish Airlines on the 18th of April.
  • On the 14th of June, flights from Istanbul and Antalya were inaugurated to London’s Stansted Airport.
  • In the first six months, Turkish Airlines earned 27.5 million TL profit before taxes.
  • An 'Aviation Safety Assessment' conducted in Turkey by the World Aviation Authority JAA MAST, found that THY is “operating under the highest performance with regards to technical maintenance and repair".
  • As from November 1, a new pricing model was put into effect, benefitting customers.
  • The airline made the largest aircraft purchase transaction in its history by adding a total of 59 aircraft to its fleet. The orders included 36 A330-200, A321-200 and A320-200 aircraft from Airbus and 23 B737-800s from Boeing.
  • A decision was made to serve 23 new international destinations.
  • On 28 November, THY HABOM A.S., THY TEKNIK A.S. and the THY EGITIM A.S. were established.
  • On the 15th of December, the first three aircraft of the 59 ordered from Airbus and Boeing joined the fleet as the first new generation Boeing 737-800, an Airbus A320 and Turkey's first Airbus A330 entered service.


  • Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles members were offered a new program with four different types of cards, each with different advantages.
  • The 100th aircraft joined the fleet.
  • The network was rapidly expanded as many new routes were opened; Ljubljana on January 16th, Abu Dhabi on January 22nd, Dushanbe on January 26th, Rostov and Sana on February 3rd, Donetsk on February 7th, Tabriz on February 15th, Kazan on February 28th, Belgrade on March 13th, St. Petersburg on March 15th, Helsinki on March 19th, Muscat route (Doha) on March 24th, Venice on March 31st, Dublin on April 7th, Riga on April 19th, Addis Ababa/Khartoum on the April 22nd, Yekaterinburg on April 26th, Dneprepetrovsk on April 28th, Mumbai on the 5th of May, Minsk on the 25th of May, Osaka of the 14th of June and finally, Lagos on the 27th of July.
  • In the month of April, Turkish Airlines successfully passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Program, IATA’s operational benchmark, and became Turkey's first “IOSA OPERATOR".
  • Telephone ticket sales were begun.
  • The ITU-THY Technical Design Office was established and began its operations under the ITU Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
  • Turkish Airlines announced that it would significantly upgrade its inflight catering through a joint venture with Austria’s Do&Co A.S., leading to new and innovative in-flight offerings.
  • On 23 May, a company with the commercial title Türk Hava Yolları Teknik A.Ş. was established with 271.325.800TL real capital. All of the shares remained under the ownership of Turkish Airlines, with the subsidiary to operate mainly in the area of technical aircraft equipment and components.
  • Turkish Airlines was granted the ISO 9001:2000 quality certificate on the 19th of June.
  • In June, Turkish Airlines Director General Dr. Temel Kotil was appointed as a member of IATA.
  • On August 1st direct flights to Singapore and Nairobi were begun; the Nairobi service resulting from an agreement between THY and Kenya Airways..
  • Turkish Airlines was invited to become a member of Star Alliance on the 4th of August, with full membership to be realized in 2008.
  • A new service was launched on 18 August allowing passengers without baggage to check in and print their boarding cards using the Internet.
  • On the 9th of December, an agreement protocol regarding THY’s participation in Star Alliance was signed during a ceremony that included Turkish Airlines and existing Star Alliance members.


  • The Nevsehir route was opened on the 8th of March, followed by Batumi on May 29, with the Istanbul-Johannesburg-Capetown route inaugurated the same day. Additionally, Eskisehir was added on the 21st of June, Medina on the 11th of November and Istanbul-Hatay opened on the 10th of December.
  • Turkish Airlines was granted the “National Quality Award” in aviation.  


  • Turkish Airlines established Anadolujet on the 23rd of April, making the connection between Anatolia and Ankara easier and more economical.
  • Alleppo service began on the 15th of May, followed by the Merzifon on the 23rd of June, Sinop on the 15th of July, Birmingham on the 15th of December and finally Baghdad on the 26th of October.
  • In April Turkish Airlines became the 20th member of Star Alliance.


  • A new promotional campaign was begun with the slogan, “Feel Like A Star”.
  • New domestic and global routes were opened; Usak on the 12th of January, followed by the Canakkale on the 19th of January, Nairobi on the 23rd of February, Ufa on the 5th of March, Mashhad on the 15th of March, Dakar-Sao Paolo on the 5th of April, Benghazi on the 5th of May, Goteborg on the 29th of June, Toronto on the 11th of July, Lviv on the 27th of July and finally, Jakarta on the 3rd of August.


  • Still more destinations were added: Bologna on March 1st, Dar es Salaam and Entebbe on the 14th of June, Nakhchivan on the 24th of June, Podgorica on the 8th of July, Sochi on the 25th of May, Accra on the 15th of July and finally Washington, D.C. on the 7th of November.
  • Skytrax, a traveler website based in the UK, rated Turkish Airlines Europe’s best for 2010.


  • Expansion continued with the addition of Guangzhou on the 31st of January, Shiraz on the 14th of March, Valencia on the 27th of March, Erbil on the 12th of Aril, Toulouse on the 16th of April, Malaga on the 27th of April, Genova on the 4th of May, Basra on the 11th of May, Thessaloniki on the 27th of May, Napoli on the 28th of June, Al Najaf on the 5th of July, Kabul on the 9th of July, Suleymaniah on the 18th of July, Islamabad on the 21th of July and finally ,Torino on the 2nd of August.

2012 - ... Inspiring Brand


  • With the goal of having the youngest and most modern fleet in Europe, we were proud to acquire our 200th airplane.
  • By signing an agreement with IATA (International Air Transport Association) as part of a regional training Partnership, we broke new ground in Turkey and became an IATA authorized training center.
  • We won “Best Airline in Europe” at the Skytrax Awards, voted for by passengers.
  • We also received awards in the categories of “Best Airline in Southern Europe” and “Best Premium Economy Seat” thanks to our Comfort Class seat.
  • Our passengers were first able to enjoy the internet in-flight thanks to our Wi-Fi service.


  • We became the airline that flies to the most countries in the world.
  • We changed our motto, “Globally Yours”, which accompanied us for years, to “Widen Your World”.
  • We promoted our motto, which we introduced with a new advertisement starring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi, in various places all over the world. Famous basketball player Kobe Bryant participated in our new motto launch in Los Angeles.
  • By flying 48 million people in our airplanes, we became the airline with the 2nd highest number of passengers in Europe.
  • We won the “Best Airline in Europe” award for the third time in a row and were recognized as the airline that provides the “Best Business Class Airline Catering” in the world.
  • World famous golfer Tiger Woods took a stroke on the Bosphorus Bridge from the continent of Asia into Europe as a part of the 2013 European Tour Final Series that took place in Turkey.
  • We provided sponsorship support for the Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund by becoming the official airline of the German football giant.
  • We signed a sponsorship agreement with Aston Villa, one of the most well-established football clubs in England, for the 2013–2014 season.
  • We signed a naming rights sponsorship agreement with Euroleague Basketball lasting until 2020.
  • We designed our special passenger lounge—named “Arrival Lounge”—which we opened at the Atatürk Airport in İstanbul, to provide Elite Plus and Business passengers coming in from International flights a place to shake off the flight fatigue and enjoy.


  • As in the previous three years, we were once again announced as the “Best Airline in Europe” at the Skytrax Passengers’ Choice Awards this year.
  • Our “When You Dream” advertisement, which has the message, “It doesn’t matter if we fly to the most places in the world if we don’t fly to everywhere within Turkey”, broke records for number of views on the internet.
  • Didier Drogba and Lionel Messi starred in our new “Widen Your World” advertisement. Didier Drogba became our new brand ambassador with this advertisement.
  • We offered millions of viewers with Nat Geo People and National Geographic Channel the chance to witness the complicated process of serving a high number of passengers both on the ground and in the air.
  • Our Sky Illusion sleep set—one of our newest features developed to demonstrate Turkish hospitality in the best possible way to our passengers—was introduced on our long distance flights.
  • We began our Travel Blog publication by sharing the extensive traveling culture that we gained by flying to the most countries in the world, with articles and pictures provided by our cabin crews and workers around the world.
  • We asked ourselves how we could make passengers waiting in transit enjoy their time between flights and, as a result, began our Tourİstanbul service, inspired by İstanbul.
  • We launched shopandmiles.com to allow our passengers to spend their miles shopping online.
  • We added the languages of German, Japanese, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian to our kiosk application—which was previously only available in Turkish and English—thus providing our passengers the chance to check-in in their native languages.


  • We opened our Arabic Call Center, which will be serving 10 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • We built the tallest sand castle in the world in Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami and got our name into Guinness World Records.
  • We achieved a first in the 55-year history of the European Football Championship and signed a sponsorship agreement with UEFA as the “first official airline sponsor” of the UEFA 2016, which will take place in France in 2016.
  • Showing once again that we are supporters of art and artists, we became the official sponsor of the International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.
  • Turkish Airlines made one of the most important videos to date showing İstanbul and proudly announced it to the world: İstanbul-Flow Motion.
  • We became the official partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup.
  • Our brand value, which was 1.6 billion dollars in 2012, reached 2.2 billion dollars in 2015. (BrandFinance Top 50 Airlines Report)
  • Turkish Airlines’ Investor Relations were chosen as the “Best Investor Relations” in Turkey in 2015 by IR Magazine.
  • We were awarded
  • “Best Business Class Lounge Dining” (2014-2015) twice
  • “Best Business Class Airline Catering” (2013-2014-2015) three times
  • “Best Airline in Europe” (2011-2012-2013-2014-2015) five times
  • “Best Airline in Southern Europe” (2009-2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015) seven times at the Skytrax Passengers’ Choice Awards.