Route Analysis: Manchester-Antalya

Capacity between the UK and Turkey continues to grow this summer.

Turkish carrier Freebird Airlines is to operate regular flights from Manchester (MAN) and London Gatwick (LGW) to Antalya (AYT) this summer. The airline has previously carried out charter flights for a range of tour operators on routes between the UK and Turkey.

Service between MAN and AYT will begin on July 3, operating 2X-weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The LGW-AYT route starts a day later, also with two flights per week on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Freebird said the leisure routes would operate until the end of October and will recommence in May 2022, initially with the same frequency.

“Despite the challenges of COVID both in the UK and Turkey, Freebird remains committed to the UK leisure market and in particular, to support those travel companies in the UK offering holidays to Turkey,” revenue management manager Onur Sezgen said.



Freebird Airlines


Airbus A320



Start date:

July 3, 2021


3,129 km

O&D traffic demand (2019):


Annual growth:


Average base fare (2019):


Turkey is among the European countries where short-haul leisure demand is expected to be the strongest this summer, with airlines betting big on the resumption of flights and holidays.

According to the latest data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, capacity between the UK and Turkey is scheduled to be about 266,000 two-way seats during peak summer (w/c July 26, 2021). This compares with 230,000 during the same week in 2019.

Freebird will face strong competition on the MAN-AYT route, going head-to-head with six other carriers. intends to serve the route 2X-daily, while easyJet and Turkish Airlines will provide daily flights. TUI Airways will offer 6X-weekly services, SunExpress 4X-weekly and Pegasus Airlines 2X-weekly.

The OAG data shows Turkish, SunExpress and Pegasus are all new entrants to the market for summer 2021. Thomas Cook was the dominant carrier between the destinations during summer 2019, offering 15X-weekly flights.

Photo credit: Nancy Brown / Getty Images

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