Turkish Airlines, global leader in the number of international destinations, flies to 128 countries on five continents. Today she celebrates her 75th birthday in Athens — its first regular international destination. The first international flight on the route Ankara — Istanbul — Athens Turkish Airlines performed on February 12, 1947.
The DC-3 aircraft with tail number TC-ABA, operating the first international flight, took off from Ankara on February 12, 1947 at 10:00 and, after a stop in Istanbul, continued on to Athens Airport, which was then known as Hassani Airport.
Turkish Airlines celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first international flight by organizing an event held in the Dome of the Cultural Center of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in the presence of organizations and representatives of the tourism industry, travel agencies and the media.
Commenting on the event, Turkish Airlines Marketing Director Mr. Ahmet Olmustur said: “We are proud to fly our national flag in the international sky for the first time 75 years ago. We all know that aviation is vital to the modern economy. It supports economic growth, creates jobs and promotes international trade and tourism. Turkish Airlines connects businesses and people to facilitate global trade, investment and travel.
After the first flight to Athens, whose anniversary we are celebrating here today, Greece has become the first country where Turkish Airlines has contributed to the economy. Given that the history of aviation is no more than 100 years old, we can say that we grew up together and embrace each other today.
Ioanna Papadopoulou, director of communications and marketing at Athens International Airport, said: « Turkish Airlines passenger traffic on the route has grown 5 times, reaching a record annual traffic of 500,000 passengers in 2019. In total, since the opening of the Athens International Airport, 5 million passengers have been transported on 37,000 flights. After two extremely difficult years for the aviation and tourism industries, we are very pleased with the prospects for recovery, which are now clear. In this evolving environment, we wish Turkish Airlines many more full and safe flights!
Today, Turkish Airlines operates 21 weekly flights to Athens and 7 flights to Thessaloniki from Istanbul Airport.