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Istanbul-based airline, Atlasglobal has recently launched five new international routes from its hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
The airline has recently completed a re-branding an now positions itself as a full service carrier, and with it has launched a total of five new international routes to Dusseldorf, Cologne, Bishkek, Amsterdam and Paris.
In April this year, the airline rebranded from Atlasjet to AtlasGlobal, in order to “reflect the Group’s growing international business perspective,” according to Chairman Ali Murat Ersoy.
The airline initially started with two aircraft in its fleet when it launched as a low-fare carrier, though AtlasGlobal now operates a fleet of 22 aircraft.
Flights to Dusseldorf are operating daily, departing Istanbul at 09:30am, before departing Dusseldorf for Istanbul again at 12:50pm. Cologne services are operating three-times-weekly on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, while flights to Bishkek – the capital of Kyrgyzstan are operating five-times-weekly, excluding Monday and Thursday.
Amsterdam services are operating daily, departing Istanbul at 10:00am, while Paris flights are operating daily, departing Istanbul at 13:25pm.
To distinguish away from low-cost carriers, the airline is offering full service features such as dual-cabin configurations, complimentary checked baggage allowance, complimentary on-board meals and beverages, all leather Italian designed seating, complimentary seat assignments and more.
"Our development strategy is focused not only on Turkey, but also on various other parts of the world. That is why we have decided to switch to operating under the AtlasGlobal brand,” Ali Murat Ersoy added.
According to Ercan Uzman, director international relations and partners management, AtlasGlobal Airlines at Routes Silk Road, the airline is no longer focusing on point-to-point traffic, but is keen to grab the market of transit passengers.
He highlighted how the airline's network growth is being driven by markets that could not previously support its point-to-point model, e.g. Tbilisi which it launched in October 2013 and is now serving daily.
However, capacity constraints at Istanbul Ataturk will dilute the value of its hub operation, and Uzman has welcomed the construction of a third Istanbul airport.
“We want to grow, but most of the time we can’t get slots to fly to a destination. A third airport will help us grow for certain,” he said.
He highlighted the importance of service to passengers and the concern surrounding current infrastructure issues at Istanbul which could impact its offering: “If you are not ready, then passengers will complain. If you can’t facilitate the level of service a passenger requires he will move to another airline," he said.
AtlasGlobal Airlines has also recently set up AtlasJet Airlines Ukraine, with a view of flying within and from the country. The carrier holds a local Ukrainian Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and will support the company’s ambitions to develop its own network model via its Istanbul Ataturk Airport hub.
AtlasJet Airlines Ukraine was discussed at Routes Silk Road in Georgia earlier this year, as questions were posed about Ukraine’s lack of Open Skies.
Although national carrier, Ukraine International Airlines is growing, Ukraine has witnessed airlines such as Wizz Air close its local business.
“We need to bring new entrants into Ukraine and support them,” said Yevgen Treskunov, strategic development and international relations committee at the Airports Association of Ukraine (AAUCA). “We also need to open the door to foreign low-cost carriers to help tourism grow.”
However, AtlasGlobal, who has recently set up AtlasJet Airlines Ukraine, could help to stimulate the market and demand in the country.
“There is a tremendous transit potential for Ukraine,” he said. “If we have a carrier that can offer the right product at the right price, and can offer it correctly, we can grow this market. However, we need to get this right and work closely together to make this work. “