Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight arrives at ATL, ushers in daily Atlanta-Istanbul route

Filed in News by on May 17, 2016

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) leaders on Monday night officially welcomed Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight, noting the strategic importance of the Atlanta-to-Istanbul route in propelling Atlanta’s economy to new heights.

“It’s an exciting time for us because we know that there’s a direct relationship between investment and trade between two points and the presence of international air service,” Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell told nearly 100 guests gathered at the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal. “We’re especially excited because Turkey and Istanbul is the bridge to the East and the West.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – flanked by Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kilic and Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmustur – echoed those sentiments, saying the partnership “joins two great economies.”

“I’m so excited about what this means to the city of Atlanta and its relationship with one of the most dynamic economies in the world,” Reed said. “Now the only thing left for me to do is to join you on this trip, on this flight, and land in Istanbul personally.”

“On behalf of Turkish Airlines and our honored guests, I’d like to thank you for the warm welcome,” said Olmustur, the airline’s CMO. “We are very happy to be here.”

Atlanta Fire Rescue delivered a water-cannon salute as the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft touched down and made its approach to the gate just after 6 p.m. Monday. The flight ushers in daily, nonstop service between the two cities, opening up business and leisure opportunities for thousands of new customers.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which also included a live band and gift exchange, marks the culmination of a two-year effort to land Turkish Airlines at the world’s most traveled airport.

Hartsfield-Jackson attracted the airline through its Air Service Incentive Program (ASIP). The program waives parking and landing fees and provides marketing benefits to airlines that start cargo and passenger service to new international destinations, particularly routes that link Atlanta to the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Atlanta joins eight other U.S. cities served by Turkish Airlines. The others are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco.

Turkish Airlines currently offers service to 113 countries, with flights to 284 destinations.

Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight ushers in daily, nonstop service between Atlanta and Istanbul. Photo by Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism

Atlanta Fire Rescue delivers a water-cannon salute just after the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft touches down at ATL. Photo by Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed — flanked by Turkish Airlines dignitaries — cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the welcoming event Monday night. Photo by Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism

Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmustur (right) presents Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell with a gift. Photo by Decisive Moment Event Photojournalism

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