Turkish Airlines, Türkiye’s national flag carrier, has resumed offering free city tours of Istanbul to its international transit passengers.
The ‘Touristanbul’ facility will enable Turkish Airlines passengers with connecting flight times of 6-24 hours at İstanbul Airport to discover the unique wonders of İstanbul, according to a statement from the flag carrier Monday.
Passengers are picked up from Istanbul Airport by a Touristanbul vehicle and take a tour that includes Sultanahmet Mosque, Ayasofya Mosque and Topkapı Palace accompanied by a guide and are brought back to the airport for the next leg of their flights.
Ahmet Olmustur, Turkish Airlines’ chief marketing officer, recalled that the service was suspended due to COVID-19 in 2020.
“Our goal is to increase transfer passenger numbers and our market share with this privileged service,” Olmustur stressed.
Some 349,738 guests have had the chance to discover Istanbul with the service since 2019, he noted.
“We expect approximately 60,000 guests to benefit from the Touristanbul privilege until the end of the year.”
Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, currently has nearly 380 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes.
It flies to 340 destinations — 287 international and 53 domestic — in 129 countries.
Last year, Turkish Airlines carried 44.8 million passengers, down nearly 40% compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019.