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Houston to Gain New Direct Flights on Turkish Airlines in 2013 to Istanbul

HOUSTON, June 18, 2012— Houston Mayor Annise Parker announces new non-stop flights to Istanbul beginning April 1, 2013, operated by Turkish Airlines between George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport (IST).

“Houston’s strong business connections with Turkey created the opportunity to attract this foreign flag airline to our city,” said Mayor Parker. “Houston has become the gateway to the world. Our global business structure helps our economy thrive and our job market remains the envy of the nation. These four new weekly flights will surely lead to increased economic opportunity for both Istanbul and Houston.”

Turkish Airlines will operate the new route with a Boeing 777-300ER, which seats up to 334 passengers. Based at Ataturk International Airport, Turkish Airlines serves 190 destinations and carries 33 million passengers as the national flag carrier airline of Turkey.

A number of Houston community organizations worked with the Houston Airport System to attract this new direct air service by Turkish Airlines, including the Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau. The addition of this new direct flight will provide a meaningful economic boost to the Greater Houston region. Turkey remains a fast growing and emerging business and leisure economy with a strong cultural link to Houston.

“The total Houston to Turkey trade value in 2010 was $1.9 billion,” said Celil Yaka, President of Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce. “We anticipate this trade will grow significantly thanks to this new flight.”

“The Houston Airport System exists to connect people, businesses, cultures and economies of the world to Houston,” said Mario Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System. “This flight will open up more convenient travel options to both Turkey and beyond points, in particular, those in South/Central Asia and Africa.”

Flight Schedule:

The new service will operate four days per week with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Departure from Houston at 7:50 p.m. local time and arrival in Istanbul at 3:55 p.m. local time.
Departure from Istanbul at 1:05 p.m. local time and arrival in Houston at 6:05 p.m. local time.
The seating capacity of a B777-300 ER is 28 Business – 53 Comfort – 253 Economy

The flights are currently available in the Turkish Airlines reservation system at

Recently Turkish Airlines was selected by Air Transport World as the recipient of the “world’s market leadership award.” Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which is the dominant airline network at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as the largest hub for the Star Alliance.

About Houston Airport System:
The Houston Airport System (HAS) served almost 50 million passengers in 2011. Houston’s three airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) contribute more than $27.5 billion to the regional economy. IAH is the 7th busiest airport in the nation. For more information, visit Follow us at @IAH or @HobbyAirport.

About Turkish Airlines:
Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline with a fleet of 179 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 190 cities around the world, comprised of 34 domestic and 156 international destinations.

One of the fastest growing airline companies, Turkish Airlines has received several “Passengers Choice Awards” from the consumer ranking group, Skytrax. Based on 2011 results, Turkish Airlines has been chosen as the winner in 3 categories, “Best Airline Europe”, “Best Premium Economy Seats” for its Comfort Class seats and “Best Airline Southern Europe”.

It has also received awards for its catering and holds a coveted 4-star designation, putting the airline in a small group of top quality carriers. Turkish Airlines was also given the Skytrax designation of “World’s Best Economy Class On-board Catering” in 2010, and Skyscanner’s “Best On-board Food 2011”. Long haul Business Class passengers also enjoy the Flying Chef service on-board.

About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, AviancaTaca, Blue1, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. EVA Air and Shenzhen Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers more than 21,500 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.

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