By Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines topped Fortune 500 list for Turkey based on exports volume, the company said on Thursday.
The Turkish Airlines has been leading the Turkey’s Fortune 500 list since 2008, and ranked again first with exports volume of $8.05 billion in 2018, the statement read.
"Our efforts being deemed worthy of such precious awards give us courage while preparing to reach our new targets," said Murat Seker, CFO of Turkish Airlines.
Seker also added that with the Istanbul New Airport, the national flag carrier will make bigger dreams come true.
The first phase of the new airport is set to be completed on Oct. 29, which is expected to welcome 90 million passengers annually, with 3,500 daily landings and take-offs, according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan.
Once complete, the new airport will offer flights to more than 300 destinations with an annual passenger capacity of up to 200 million.
The Fortune 500 Turkey list includes publicly and privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available.
Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933, flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries. By the end of Aug. 2018, the airline had 326 aircraft — 92 of them wide-body along with 216 narrow-body aircraft and 18 cargo planes.
Last year, the airline carried 68.6 million passengers with a 79.1 percent seat occupancy rate.
According to the airline's year-end 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.
The airline — staffed with 25,000 people, including more than 4,500 pilots, — earned some 24.4 billion Turkish liras ($5.9 billion) of total revenue in the first half of this year.