History: The official Airline of Turkey can trace it roots back to 1933. The "State Airlines Administration" operating under the supervision of the Ministry of National Defense was established on the 20th of May 1933. The first fleet comprised of 2 King Birds, 2 Junkers F-13 and an ATH-9 . In 1935 The Administration started operating under the Ministry of Public Works which at the time was called "Nafia Vekâleti". In 1943, 6 D-Havilland Domini airplanes joined the fleet and in 1944 with the addition of 5 Junkers 52. In 1945 with the addition of 30 Douglas DC-3s and 3 C-47s, the number of aircraft in the fleet reached 52. Thus, the number of cities flown to, which was three at the time, increased to 19 cities. In 1947 The first international voyage "Ankara-Istanbul-Athens" was flown on the 12th of February.
In 1951 the destinations of Nicosia, Beirut and Cairo were included in the flight schedule of the fleet now had a total of 33 aircraft. The company started in 1953 the first Hadj voyages. On the 21st May 1955, the title "General Directorate of the State Airlines Administration" changed to its current name: Turkish Airlines. In 1956 Turkish Airlines Inc. was established on the 1st of March with a capital stock of 60 million TL.Turkish Airlines joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In 1957 BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) became a partner of Turkish Airlines with 6.5% equity share after Turkish Airlines was opened to foreign capital investments. At the time the fleet consisted of 28 aircraft including 19 DC-3 and 7 Heron passenger planes and 2 C-47 cargo planes. In 1958 5 Viscount 794 turboprop aircraft joined the fleet. A new era in the history of civil aviation began with the switch from piston to jet engines. Between 1956 and 1958 the number of passengers carried doubled and reached 394,000. In 1959, Frankfurt was added to the Ankara-Istanbul-Athens route, expanding the airline’s network into Germany.
The Wild Goose emblem designed by Mesut Manioglu won first place in a competition and became the airline's logo. In 1964 Services to Brussels, Munich and Tel Aviv were launched and soon to Amsterdam, Belgrade and Tabriz. In 1967 3 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airplanes were added to the fleet, with the first international jet flight taken place on the Ankara-Istanbul-Brussels route. In 1970 4 more DC-9 airplanes joined the fleet. In 1972, 2 DC-10 jets joined the fleet for long haul operations and trunk routes. In 1974, the Cyprus Turkish Airlines was established with the 50% partnership of Turkish Airlines.
In 1983, celebrating it's 50th year of its establishment, the airline was operating in 3 continents. In 1985Far East and Transatlantic flights begun with the addition of 4 Airbus A310s to the fleet. The implementation of First Class services begun in the Jeddah and London flights and was later incorporated into other flights. In 1986 flights begun to the Far East with the opening of the Singapore route in the month of June, also the the New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Lyon route were launched. In 1988, Helsinki, Tunisia, Algiers, Oslo, Basel and New York route were introduced with later flights being added to Moscow,Bangkok and Tokyo. With increased competition, SunExpress Airlines, was established with equal partnership of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa Airlines in 1989.
In 1991The first B-737s joined the fleet, the fleet was refurbished both inside and out, including a new aircraft livery. Simultaneously, the uniforms worn by the flight crew and ground personnel were updated. A total of 8 new aircraft; 6 B737-400s and 2 B737-500s joined the fleet also. In 1993, A340-300s and RJ-100s began to join the fleet, with the addition of the Airbus 340s, direct flights to Tokyo were possible and they were operated with three different classes of service; First, Business and Economy Class. In 1996, the www.thy.com website was established and put into service while Tbilisi, Sarajevo and Johannesburg were added to the network as 4 new A340-300s joined the fleet.
In 1998, a new partnership was formed among 5 large European airlines and named “The Qualiflyer Group”. A series of Block Space agreements were signed global partners;Austrian Airlines, Swissair, Croatia Airlines and Japan Airlines. It also received it's new generation B737-800 airplanes In 1999 THY passengers were invited to join the loyalty program, “Miles & Smiles” and Shanghai and Seoul were added to the network.
In 2003, electronic ticketing begun and online check-in procedures were adopted. In 2004, the airline made the largest aircraft purchase transaction in its history by adding a total of 59 aircraft to its fleet. The orders included 36 A330-200, A321-200 and A320-200 aircraft from Airbus and 23 B737-800s from Boeing.A decision was made to serve 23 new international destinations. As the 100th aircraft joined the fleet, the network was rapidly expanded as many new routes were opened; Ljubljana, Abu Dhabi Dushanbe, Rostov and Sana, Donetsk, Kazan, Belgrade, St. Petersburg, Venice, Dublin, Riga, Addis Ababa/Khartoum, Yekaterinburg, Mumbai, Minsk and Lagos.
Turkish Airlines was invited to become a member of Star Alliance on the 4th of August, with full membership in 2008. Also in 2008Turkish Airlines established Anadolujet, making the connection between Anatolia and Ankara easier and more economical. In 2009A new promotional campaign begun with the slogan, “Feel Like A Star”.New domestic and global routes were opened. In 2010 still more destinations were added, Dar es Salaam and Entebbe, Sochi, Accra, Washington, D.C amongst many more. Turkish Airline set it's target to fly to over 200 destinations worldwide and become one of the leading airlines in the world and make Istanbul Ataturk into a major continental transit hub.
With the goal of having the youngest and most modern fleet in Europe, the airline we were proud to acquire the 200th airplane. Soon it became the winning airline by the Skytrax Awards, with “Best Airline in Europe” and “Best Premium Economy Seat”. In 2012 it also launched new routes to some of the countries which no other airline would fly to, flying to Irak, Somalia or Afghanistan for example. In 2013, the airline became the one that flies to the most countries in the world. The airline embarked on a global campaign and marketing strategy which made planes wear liveries of football and basketball teams and the airlines was the official sponsor for many sporting events, giving it international brand recognition. The lounge at Istanbul Atatuk was upgraded for it's frequent travellers and this also won "best Lounge Awards", also a service called "Tourİstanbul" for passengers in transit and with time to visit the city.
From 2014, the airline continued introducing new aircraft in the shape of new Boeing 777-300, 737-800 and Airbus A330 and A321 to it's growing fleet and offers Wifi, an excellent on-board entertainment system and catering on all it's flights.
In 2016, with some unfortunate terrorist attacks happening in Istanbul, and a weak economy which led to a failed military coup, Turkish Airlines announced a profit collapse to a loss of 198 million Euros for the second quarter of 2016. The airline announced significant reductions in operations for the upcoming 2016/2017 schedule period with frequency cuts to 45 European and 13 intercontinental routes.