Turkish marks 6 years serving Kathmandu

Turkish Airlines General Manager for Nepal, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi. All Photos: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines Kathmandu celebrated its 6th year of operations between Istanbul and Kathmandu on Saturday 24 November with a gala event at Gokarna Resort.

The only country spanning two continents, Turkey has long served as a bridge for people travelling from East to West and vice-versa. Turkish Airlines is the only European airline flying to and from Kathmandu, connecting Nepal to its 308 worldwide destinations via the Istanbul hub. It has been called ‘The New Silk Road’ and the airline is taking advantage of Turkey’s location to become one of the world’s largest carriers.

“For the past six years we have been bridging Nepal with rest of the world, through our ever-expanding fleet and flight network, we will continue to be the main supporter for Nepal’s tourism and trade,” said Turkish Airlines General Manager for Nepal, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi, adding that the carrier hoped to contribute to making Visit Nepal 2020 a success.

Nepal Tourism Board's Deepak Raj Joshi (centre) and Nandini Lahe-Thapa (left) pictured with Filiz Kececi (right).

Turkish Airlines was voted the best airline of Europe, and serves as an important link for Nepal-bound tourists, businessmen, Kathmandu-based expatriates, and the Nepali diaspora because it is the only airline that connects Nepal directly to Europe.

Istanbul’s advantage is its location, which is ideal for layovers short and long for passengers between Nepal to South America, Australia, North America and the Far East with just one-stop hop away from anywhere in the world.

Eight months after its overnight shift from Istanbul’s old airport to its new one in what was called the ‘Great Move’, passengers now have much more efficient transfers and connections. With three of its six runways and four of the five concourses compete, the airport at the edge of the Black Sea is well on its way to become the world’s busiest. Taking advantage of the airport’s location Turkey’s flag carrier will have a 500 aircraft fleet serving 400 cities around the world by 2025.     

Most passengers flying Turkish Airlines to and from Kathmandu transit this 76 million sq m terminal with five piers and 145 boarding gates, but the airline is also trying to promote Nepal tourism in Turkey and Nepali visitors to go to Turkey or take advantage of stopovers on their way to other destinations.

Transit passengers can get city tours or even layovers if the time between flights is more than 9 hours for business and 12 hours for economy. Passengers with round trip tickets and connection periods of over 20 hours can get Stopover privilege of a free one night stay in a 4-star hotel (economy class passengers) or two nights in a 5-star hotel (business class passengers) in the city.

“At the new airport we are giving passengers to and from Nepal much more comfort and flexibility with better connectivity during Visit Nepal 2020,” Abdullah Tuncer Kececi said.

The Gokarna anniversary event was attended by Kathmandu-based business and diplomatic community, travel trade executives as well as premium members of its Miles&Smiles loyalty program.

A Turkish Airlines chef was on hand to add culinary delights like baklava and sarma to the afternoon, as guests enjoyed games, destination selfies, treasure hunt and golf. Grand prizes included Business Class and Economy roundtrip ticket to any Turkish Airlines destination, package tours to Baku/Turkey, dinner /lunch vouchers from various hotels in Kathmandu.

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