Turkish Airlines has opened a direct service between Guangzhou and Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport in Turkey.
The first flight to Guangzhou was greeted by a dragon dance and a delegation of well-wishers that included the Honorable Gong Xiaosheng, the ambassador to Turkey for China and the Honorable Murat Salim Esenli, the ambassador to China for Turkey.
Guangzhou is Turkish Airlines' fourth destination in greater China, following Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The scheduled two way service departs from Guangzhou for Istanbul three times a week. The route is served by one of Turkish Airlines' newest Boeing 777 aircraft, and offers economy class, business class and the airlines' latest "Comfort Class" cabins. In addition, the flight also features Turkish Airlines' in-flight service with innovations like the Flying Chef.
The dignitries gathered to witness the landing of the new flight saw the opening of new service between Turkey and China in the broader context of the relationship between the two countries, which is growing rapidly. Ambassador Esenli noted that 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of bi-lateral ties between Turkey and China. He added that it was fitting that this year also marked the broadest expansion in direct links between the two countries and they looked forward to increasing cultural, economic and political cooperation with the help of this direct flight.
Melih Topuz, the newly appointed director of the Turkish Airlines Guangzhou office said that it was always exciting to open a new destination, and Guangzhou is a perfect addition to the Turkish Airlines network. He noted that for centuries, Guangzhou was the eastern end of the maritime Silk Road, with Turkey being the western end. Now the route taken by ships, which took weeks, is covered in hours on a Turkish Airlines jet. Now Istanbul can take its place as a window to the West for the people of Guangzhou and he looked forward to welcoming more and more travelers from Guangzhou to experience Turkey and experience Europe with Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines Guangzhou to Istanbul service schedule is three times a week. Scheduled flights depart Istanbul at 23:05, and arrive in Guangzhou the following day at 14:50. Flights depart Guangzhou for Istanbul at 23:05, arriving the following day at 05:05 local time. This provides travelers enough time to make connections to more than 160 destinations in Turkish Airlines global network.