The Danes get Turkish Delight

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Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen,
Editor, Routesonline

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The Danes get Turkish Delight

This week Turkish Airlines (TK) announced it is to start two new destinations to Denmark serving both Billund and Aalborg as a triangle operation.  The route will be operated with an Airbus A319 thrice weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  Jesper Klausholm, Marketing Manager from Billund Airport commented: “We are delighted Turkish Airlines is starting to Billund Airport.  It has been a long process to attract Turkish Airlines with a number of meetings at Routes Events and at Head Office, involving both the airport and the Danish Consulate.  Turkish Airlines has obviously seen the potential in the 6 million international passengers travelling every year from West Denmark.” 

These two routes take the number of destinations in Europe served by Turkish Airlines (excluding Turkey and the CIS ) to almost 70 into Europe, (number 65 and 66) compared to only 49 in 2007.  The carrier has been rapidly expanding its network pushing Istanbul as a credible alternative to the Middle East hubs connecting European primary and secondary cities to its significant network to India, Africa, Far East and Australia.  Arguably Turkish Airlines can serve the thinner markets like Billlund and Aalborg because the carrier can use a narrowbody (A319) and Istanbul is within reasonable range for the A319 unlike the Middle East hubs. 

Furthermore, Turkish Airlines has a large country market to provide reasonable O & D traffic, the IATA BSP data for 2011 shows the O&D traffic between Billund and Turkey was 22,259 passengers for 2012, whilst Aalborg is half this at 9,553 passengers.  There will also be considerable surface leakage to Copenhagen with both Billund and Aalborg only 165 km and 415 km respectively to Copenhagen.  It is also interesting to see the increase in O & D traffic between Denmark and Turkey which has increased from 132,000 to 317,000 passengers in the last five years, a 140% increase.  See the table below.       

For both Billund and Aalborg, the Turkish Airlines service will be the first non – European hub (depending on your definition).  Billund has good hub connectivity with Air France (Paris), KLM (Amsterdam), Lufthansa (Frankfurt and Munich) and the Scandinavian hubs (excluding Helsinki which is a surprise).  Meanwhile Aalborg only has a KLM service in addition to Oslo and Copenhagen, so Turkish will provide a welcome alternative.  We’ve provided the weekly frequencies for the 14th– 20thMay for both Billund and Aalborg below.     

As well as serving the home market, Turkish Airlines is targeting markets with sizeable ethnic communities.  Turkish workers moved to Denmark during the 1960's.  There are around 61,000 Turks in Denmark, but the majority live in Zeeland rather than Jutland.  However, Turkey is a popular holiday destination with charter programmes from almost all Danish regional airports.

Turkish Airlines can expect to pick up a sizeable proportion of the Iraqi market living in Denmark (a population of around 30,000).  As one of the main carriers to Iraq, TK is able to exploit this position with the Iraqi migrant communities in Scandinavia and in other markets like the UK. 

Turkish Airlines can expect to feed their Macedonian network, as well as their Pakistani and China routes based upon the ethnic communities living in Denmark. These niche onwards markets like Macedonia and Iraq enable Turkish Airlines to open services to secondary airports in Europe, for example only a couple of weeks ago Turkish Airlines launched its service to Bremen

It is interesting that Turkish Airlines decided to operate Billund and Aalborg as a triangle, with Billund as the larger market.  The fact Turkish Airlines have combine two secondary markets indicates that this may be the way TK has to go to extend their network into smaller European airports.


Denmark to Turkey O&D Data

Origin

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Copenhagen

129,389

163,592

173,964

219,837

282,875

Billund

2,845

4,993

3,638

18,337

22,259

Aalborg

293

486

356

4,400

9,553

Other

358

656

406

2,221

2,477

Grand Total

132,885

169,727

178,364

244,795

317,164

 

Billund Airport’s Existing Network - Weekly Frequency 14th – 20th May 

Destination

Weekly Frequency

AMSTERDAM

35

COPENHAGEN

33

FRANKFURT

26

OSLO

23

LONDON

21

PARIS

19

STOCKHOLM

11

BRUSSELS

8

ESBJERG

8

STAVANGER

8

MANCHESTER

8

MUNICH

7

DUSSELDORF

6

PALMA DE MALLORCA

5

RIGA

5

BERGEN

4

FAROE ISLANDS

4

MALAGA

4

MILAN

3

GIRONA

3

ROME

3

EDINBURGH

3

KRAKOW

3

ALICANTE

3

BUDAPEST

3

PISA

2

TRAPANI

2

ALGHERO

2

CARCASSONNE

2

VENICE

2

ZADAR

2

FARO

2

MALTA

2

KERKYRA

1

TENERIFE

1

Grand Total

274

 

Aalborg Airport’s Existing Network - Weekly Frequency 14th – 20th May 

Destination

Weekly Frequency

COPENHAGEN

105

AMSTERDAM

21

OSLO

9

LONDON

3

BERLIN

3

BARCELONA

2

MALAGA

2

PALMA DE MALLORCA

2

ANTALYA

1

CHANIA

1

Grand Total

149

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