By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Airlines carried 43.2 million passengers from January to July this year, the airline announced Thursday.
According to a statement, the total number of passengers carried by the Turkey's national flag carrier saw a 15.2-percent hike on a yearly basis, up from 37.5 million passengers in the the same period in 2017.
"Increase in the number of passengers carried in domestic and international lines are 17.0 percent and 13.8 percent, respectively," Turkish Airlines said.
In the seven-month period, the airline's passenger load factor — seat occupancy — increased by 3.8 percentage points to 81.2 percent.
"Number of landings (passenger aircraft) of 262,964 for the period of January-July 2017 increased by 8.9 percent to 286,360 in 2018," the company said. "Cargo/mail carried during the period of January-July 2018 increased by 26.3 percent to 779,626 tons from 617,458 tons in 2017."
In July alone, Turkish Airlines recorded an 85.3-percent seat occupancy rate. The airline carried 7.5 million passengers last month, a 3.8-percent yearly hike.
"Increase in passengers carried in Africa, Europe and Middle East are 10.0 percent, 9.5 percent and 8.0 percent respectively," the airline said.
Turkish Airlines earned some 24.4 billion Turkish liras ($5.9 billion) of total revenue in the first half of this year while the company had nearly 25,000 staff, including more than 4,500 pilots.
Last year, the airline carried 68.6 million passengers with a 79.1 percent seat occupancy rate.
Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in 121 countries. By the end of July 2018, the airline had 325 aircraft, 92 of them wide-body along with 215 narrow-body aircraft and 18 cargo planes.
According to the airline's end-year targets, the company expects to carry 75 million passengers — including 33 million on domestic routes, 42 million on international routes — with around an 81-percent passenger load factor.
A total of 50.88 percent of the airline's stocks are publicly traded on Turkey's stock exchange Borsa Istanbul while the rest are owned by the Turkiye Wealth Fund.
Turkish Airlines has a nearly 24 billion Turkish lira ($4.54 billion) market value, based on stock exchange market figures, as of market close on Wednesday, Aug. 8.