Melbourne chosen for Turkish Airlines' first Australian flights

Published: 23 January 2024

Turkish Airlines plan flying through blue skyOne of the world’s largest airlines has chosen Melbourne to launch its inaugural flights to Australia, bringing thousands of visitors to Victoria each year, increasing export capacity and creating hundreds of local jobs.

Turkish Airlines will introduce direct flights between Melbourne and Istanbul, Türkiye, starting with 3 services per week from March 2024 with potential to grow to a daily service in the future.

Backed by the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, the new route will be the first time an airline has offered direct flights between Türkiye and Australia.

A Turkish Airlines daily service would add 109,500 seats to Melbourne each year, contribute more than $132 million annually to the state’s economy and create an estimated 840-plus jobs in our aviation and tourism sectors.

The new flights will serve one of Victoria’s largest trade hubs and visitor markets, while connecting Türkiye to Australia’s largest Türkiye-born community and fastest growing state.

Turkish Airlines’ flights will increase Victoria’s access to key European, Middle Eastern, Balkan, and African markets via its hub in Istanbul, growing our tourism, international education, business and trade markets.

The Türkiye, Middle East and Africa region is one of Victoria’s major trading partners, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $5.48 billion in 2022-23. Daily flights by Turkish Airlines would add 3,650 tonnes of air freight capacity annually.

Turkish Airlines will commence its direct flights to Melbourne via Singapore, with plans to acquire new aircraft with the ability to operate the Istanbul to Melbourne service non-stop in the future.

In a significant recovery milestone, Turkish Airlines is the 39th international airline to service Melbourne Airport, restoring international seat capacity beyond 100% compared to pre-pandemic.

Turkish Airlines joins a growing list of international airlines the Victorian Government has supported to increase flights to Melbourne including LATAM, Cathay Pacific, China Southern, Sichuan Airlines and Air India.