Turkish Airlines is set to launch the first ever direct flights between Europe and Australia next year.
With a growth rate that reportedly exceeds that of all other passenger carriers, Turkish Airlines intends to fly travellers between Istanbul and Turkey - a distance of 8,000 miles - according to local media coverage.
Presently, European airport passengers wanting to fly to Sydney must stop over in Asia. Including the two-or-so hours needed to switch aircraft, the whole journey lasts approximately 24 hours. Currently, Singapore Airlines operates a business class-only flight to New York - an 8,300 mile trip - but this will not be available after 2013, as it is no longer considered economically-viable.
Turkish Airlines: Europe-to-Australia
It seems like that the Turkish Airlines Europe-to-Australia flights will be carried out using the carrier's Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Turkish Airlines has 12 of these in service at present, with 15 more on order and options to obtain a further five examples if required. Each of these Boeing 777-300ERs can accommodate a maximum of 337 passengers.
Aside from these aircraft, Turkish Airlines is also equipped with Airbus A320s and A320 variants, Airbus A330s, Airbus A340s and Boeing 737s, while its cargo arm flies Airbus A310s and A320s.
Direct Europe-to-Australia Flights
In carrying out the first direct Europe-to-Australia flights, Turkish Airlines is set to quash the ambitions of Australian carrier Qantas, which is also launching a similar service and had hoped to lead the way.
Turkish Airlines makes the point that Istanbul Airport - which is expanding faster than Dubai Airport - is well-linked to airports in other European cities, so the carrier's Australia flights announcement should benefit passengers considerably.
Turkey's flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines was originally established in 1933 and, so, celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2013. Right now, the airline flies to no less than 228 destinations: a total beaten only by three other of the world's carriers.
Image copyright Nevit Dilmen - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons