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Turkish Airlines extends Shanghai connections

TURKISH Airlines launched five weekly direct flights from Shanghai to Istanbul today cultivating the growing demand in East China.

An A340 jet will serve the route, which will depart from Shanghai at 10:45am every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and arrive at Istanbul at 5:45am local time.

The new service will increase the carrier's flights between Chinese mainland and Turkey to 10 every week. The carrier launched Beijing-Istanbul flights in 1999 and extended routes to Shanghai in 2000.

The carrier said passenger demand from Shanghai has kept growing since it launched the first flight to China in 1999, as vacationers and business travelers increasingly recognize Istanbul as an ideal transit point between China and Europe.

"Istanbul's excellent location makes it an ideal transfer point: to continental Europe, Northern Africa, as well as the Middle East," said Orhan Sivrikaya, executive commercial vice president of the carrier.

He also expected the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to be another factor leading to rapid growth for the new route. The new route will cost 2,870 yuan (US$420) for a return ticket during a promotional period.

The carrier bucked a downward trend in aviation industry last year to report a 26-percent growth in profit, totaling US$874 million, thanks to its cost-cutting measures and fuel hedging.


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