Southwind is born: Turkey creates airline targeting Russian tourists


Turkey government announced the creation of an airline to be named Southwind, with the aim of bringing Russian tourists closer to tourist resorts and attractions in Turkey.

In a context in which air connectivity with the Russian market was drastically reduced due to the conflict with Ukraine, Russia’s allied countries see opportunities to capture unattended demand.

According to AirportHaber, the company will start operations in May with five Airbus aircraft, three twin-aisle and two narrow-body, although it did not provide further information on the models to be operated.

The same media reports that the orders have already been submitted to the Turkish aeronautical authorities, which have been accepted and the incorporation procedure will be accelerated.

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The importance of Turkish tourism

According to initial reports, the government of Turkey sees in Southwind the opportunity to bring one million Russian travelers to its tourist centers, which are seeking to recover the pre-pandemic levels of visitors and revenues.

According to the OECD’s statistics department, tourism is one of Turkey’s most dynamic and fastest growing economic sectors. In 2018 it directly accounted for 7.7% of total employment, directly employing 2.2 million people. Total revenue generated by inbound tourism accounted for 3.8% of Turkish GDP.

Turkey attracted 45.8 million international tourists in 2018, an increase of 21.7% compared to 2017 which generated $9.7 billion in tourism revenues, an increase of 12% compared to the previous year.

According to 2018 statistics, Russia is the top consumer of Turkish tourism with 13.0% of total international arrivals, followed by Germany with 9.8%.

In addition, the expected return on investment of the new Istanbul airport was severely diminished by the two years of pandemic.

Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Director Editorial de Aviacionline. Ante todo, data-driven.


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