Turkish Airlines announced last week that it will launch flights between the Turkish capital Ankara and Tabriz. The service will be operated once a week by the AnadoluJet brand’s Boeing 737-800, starting on 31 October 2021. The flight schedule is as follows.
|Flight number||Route||Departure time||Arrival time||Frequency|
This route launch is the latest on behalf of Turkish Airlines’ AnadoluJet brand, which has gone from nothing to five routes to Tehran, Urmia, Tabriz in 2021. AnadoluJet’s route launches in 2021 are as follows.
|Ankara-Tehran||17 March 2021||2-4 weekly|
|Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen-Tehran||15 January 2021||7 weekly|
|Izmir-Tehran||17 March 2021||2-6 weekly|
|Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen-Urmia||11 March 2021||2 weekly|
|Izmir-Tabriz||3 June 2021||1 weekly|
|Ankara-Tabriz||31 October 2021||1 weekly|
All AnadoluJet routes constitute city pairs with new scheduled services, except for the first two Tehran routes, where it should be noted that the Istanbul route was transferred from the Turkish Airlines main brand.
Before the pandemic, Turkish Airlines operated one daily flight to all destinations outside of Tehran; Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, and Isfahan. Today, Tabriz is the only destination being operated once daily, while the other destinations receive 4-5 weekly flights so far. In February 2021, Aviation Iran noted the trend of Turkish Airlines’ increasing presence in the northwestern provinces of Iran with new routes to Tabriz, and Urmia as a new destination. Iran Airtour Airlines, ATA Airlines, and Meraj Airlines also hold strong positions in the region with daily flights to Turkey, unlike other Iranian regions.
The northwestern provinces of Iran, bordering Turkey, are evidently of interest for Turkish Airlines. In addition to the new route between Ankara and Tabriz, Turkish Airlines plans to increase the flight frequency between Istanbul and Tabriz, from seven to nine weekly flights as of 19 October 2021. Tabriz subsequently becomes Turkish Airlines’ most-trafficked secondary destination in Iran with 11 weekly flights, after Tehran with 42 weekly flights. None of Turkish Airlines’ Iranian destinations, besides Tehran, has ever received more than one daily flight which was the norm in pre-pandemic times.
Photo: Robert Underwood