Minister of Tourism and Environment, Ünal Üstel, had various contacts in Istanbul, where he attended the ‘Northern Cyprus Tourism Cooperation’ meeting.
Having made important initiatives on transportation, which is one of the most important issues directly related to the country’s tourism, Üstel had a very useful meeting with Turkish Airlines General Manager Bilal Ekşi, THY Technical Managers and Anadolu Jet officials.
Minister Üstel also made some suggestions and requests to Turkish Airlines officials during the meeting;
- Elimination of the airport taxes of approximately 260TL included in the ticket prices by the two countries.
- Ceiling price application to reduce ticket prices.
- Increasing the number of flights to existing destinations.
- Introducing new flights to the required destinations.
- Passengers from the UK to be able to travel to the TRNC without changing aircraft.
- Increasing the baggage allowance on promotional tickets sold by Turkish Airlines from 15 kilos to 20 kilos.
Üstel stressed that the abolition of taxes amounting to 260TL between Turkey and the TRNC will result in a reduction of ticket prices.
Expecting more flights to Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Gaziantep, Adana and Antalya, where there are regular flights by Anadolu Jet, Üstel asked for the introduction of new flights to different destinations.
THY officials evaluated positively the demands of Üstel, and said they will be starting flights to the city of Hatay on 8th August. Üstel added that it is essential to have economic prices to compete in every destination both for tourists coming to our country and for TRNC citizens to be able to travel.
Üstel also said “We have requested Turkish Airlines officials to re-launch the Trabzon market, which existed in past years. Since there is a shortage of aircraft this year, we have been promised that flights to Trabzon will be re-instituted in the near future.
Two of Anadolu Jet’s aircraft now serve the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and the second aircraft will have regular flights from Ercan to different provinces of Turkey.
Particularly in relation to Turkish Airlines planes coming from the UK, we also requested that passengers should be able to travel to the TRNC as before. Turkish Airlines General Manager Bilal Ekşi instructed his team to do a technical study on the subject.
Ercan Airport is also a big plus for tourism. With the completion of the new airport and runway, we also received the promise that Turkish Airlines will send large-bodied aircraft to our country, thus carrying more passengers. Explaining that more tourists can come to the island at a time with large-bodied planes and passengers can travel with more affordable ticket prices, the new airport to be opened is very important for tourism” Üstel said.
Üstel asked, in consultation with the TRNC, for a single entry tourist visa for TRNC foreign tourists from Turkey, indicating that it was impossible to travel through Turkey again after visiting the TRNC, where a visa was demanded again for tourists coming to Turkey. Many foreign tourists want to see northern Cyprus in the framework of package tours of four days in Turkey, 3 days in Cyprus, and collaborative work with Turkish Airlines has commenced, he said.
Turkish Airlines General Manager Bilal Ekşi, also accepted the proposal to increase the right to carry 15 kilos to 20 kilos, which is valid for promotional tickets purchased from Turkish Airlines, and gave orders to make the necessary arrangements.
Explaining that many students are studying in the country, Üstel announced that all enrolled students travelling with Anadolu Jet will earn 20% discount.
Minister Üstel said that the 2 hour meeting with Turkish Airlines was quite useful, and that they will meet again in the following days on the issues discussed.