By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines carried 44.9 million passengers from January to August 2017, the airline announced Friday.
The total number of passengers carried by the airline rose 6.1 percent in the first eight months of the year over the same period in 2016, Turkish Airlines said.
According to the company’s statement sent to Turkey’s Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), the numbers of passengers carried in domestic and international lines rose 6.8 and 5.5 percent, respectively.
Over the same period, the airline’s passenger load factor or seat occupancy increased by 4.1 percentage points to 78.4 percent.
In August alone, Turkish Airlines hit an all-time record of seat occupancy with 84.3 percent. The airline carried 7.4 million passengers last month, a 14.3 percent yearly hike.
The company said the increases in passengers carried last month in its Far East, Africa, Middle East, and domestic lines were 6.5, 12.8, 15.7, and 14.4 percent, respectively.
Turkish Airlines earned $4.6 billion total revenue in the first half of 2017, flying to 300 destinations in 120 countries, including 251 international and 49 domestic destinations.
Last year, Turkish Airlines carried 62.8 million passengers, up 2.5 percent from 61.2 million passengers in 2015.
By the end of August 2017, the company had 329 aircraft, 90 of them wide-body along with 224 narrow-body aircraft and 15 cargo planes.
According to the company’s end-year targets, the airline expects some $10.4 billion in revenue and aims to carry 69 million passengers with around a 77.5 percent passenger load factor.
A total 50.88 percent of the airline’s stocks are publicly traded on Turkey’s stock exchange, the Borsa Istanbul, while the rest are owned by the Turkiye Wealth Fund.
Turkish Airlines has a nearly $3.94 billion market value, based on stock exchange market figures, as of Friday, Sept. 15.