HOUSTON, Texas - Houston Mayor Annise Parker announces new non-stop flights to Istanbul beginning April 1, 2013, operated by Turkish Airlines between George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST).
"Houston's strong business connections with Turkey created the opportunity to attract this foreign flag airline to our city," said Mayor Parker. "Houston has become the gateway to the world. Our global business structure helps our economy thrive and our job market remains the envy of the nation. These four new weekly flights will surely lead to increased economic opportunity for both Istanbul and Houston."
Turkish Airlines will operate the new route with a Boeing 777-300ER, which seats up to 334 passengers. Based at Ataturk International Airport, Turkish Airlines serves more than 190 destinations and carries 33 million passengers.
The Turkish Consulate General in Houston and a number of Houston community organizations worked closely with the Houston Airport System to attract this new direct air service by Turkish Airlines, including the Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Zaglayan's support was also instrumental in promoting the opportunity for this flight.
"The Istanbul direct flights operated by Turkish Airlines will be essential in our endeavors to further develop relations at all levels and fields in business, trade and investment relations between Turkey and Texas," said Turkish Consul General Cemalettin Aydin.
The addition of this new international direct flight will provide a meaningful economic boost to the Greater Houston region. Turkey remains a fast growing and emerging business and leisure economy with a strong cultural link to Houston.
"The total Houston to Turkey trade value in 2011 was $3.6 billion," said Celil Yaka, President of Texas Turkish American Chamber of Commerce. "We anticipate this trade will continue to grow significantly thanks to this new flight."
"The Houston Airport System exists to connect people, businesses, cultures and economies of the world to Houston," said Mario Diaz, Director of the Houston Airport System. "This flight will open up more convenient travel options to both Turkey and beyond points, in particular, those in South/Central Asia and Africa."
The new service will operate four days per week with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Departure from Houston at 7:50 p.m. local time and arrival in Istanbul at 3:55 p.m. local time.
Departure from Istanbul at 1:05 p.m. local time and arrival in Houston at 6:05 p.m. local time.
Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, which is the dominant airline network at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as the largest hub for the Star Alliance.