SunExpress, the Turkish-German leisure carrier, has filed plans to launch 21 new scheduled routes for the summer 2022 season, including nine services from Antalya.
Routes’ analysis of OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the carrier intends to open four of the new routes to destinations in the UK, alongside three apiece to France and Germany.
From its base in Antalya, new destinations will include Beirut (BEY), Birmingham (BHX), Helsinki (HEL) and Vilnius (VNO), alongside the resumption of scheduled service to Dortmund (DTM) for the first time since 2017.
Dalaman (DLM), situated on the southwestern coast of Turkey, will receive four routes from Amsterdam (AMS), Copenhagen (CPH), London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN), while Izmir (ADB) is getting three new routes and Bodrum (BJV) two.
Although subject to change, during the peak summer week of July 25, SunExpress has scheduled almost 340,000 seats across 1,795 flights. This compares with 283,000 seats and 1,514 flights during the same week in summer 2019.
Antalya-based SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, has a fleet of 47 Boeing 737-800s and five 737 MAX 8s. The airline has a further 37 MAX jets on order.
Speaking at World Routes 2021 in Milan, head of network planning and scheduling Wilken Bellmann told delegates the carrier was on the lookout for new airline partners as it seeks to expand in Central and Eastern Europe.
Airports must provide data that demonstrates VFR and tourism potential, as well as a sizeable catchment area, Bellmann said. “We start with bigger markets, especially if it's a new-country market,” he added, “then we scale down to second-tier, third-tier airports as well.”
In 2021, the airline also issued a Request for Proposals with Routes to help identify new airport partners in the UK and Ireland.