Turkish Airlines wants to expand its partnership with United Airlines, even though the Chicago-based carrier has looked beyond Star Alliance to form a new strategic cooperation pact.

Turkish and IndiGo are working together. Turkish Airlines Chairman Ahmet Bolat told last week in Istanbul at the sidelines of IATA's wings for change conference that the number of Boeing 777-300ERs it is wet-leasing to the Indian low cost carrier could rise to six aircraft.

Views on United-Emirates Cooperation

The decision by United to sign a codeshare agreement with the airline drew a lot of attention.

New partnerships with non-star members arise nowadays, he said, referring to the United-Emirates pact.

If you realize an opportunity, we are happy with that. If something happens, it should be good for both sides.

“We were talking with United for a long time, and we are also talking about more cooperation in the U.S. with them. And we also asked them to come back to Istanbul,”

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ahmet Bolat

Turkish has a huge domestic market, as well as a global hub in Istanbul, which allows it to connect to other parts of the world.

There is a place for everyone on the table. It was United's choice with the airline. He said that they would see how things worked.

Turkish flies to 12 U.S. destinations from Istanbul, as well as 44 other destinations which have connecting services with either United or JetBlue. Bolat said that Turkish Airlines would prioritize connecting their hubs to the U.S. We want to work more with United. We want them to fly back to Istanbul.

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Wet-Leasing 777s To IndiGo 

Turkish Airlines entered a partnership with IndiGo. Bolat said he intended to intensify the partnership.

IndiGo has a huge all- A320 family fleet. Bolat said that they couldn't ask them to operate a different aircraft, but then they asked if they could wet-lease a 777 from them. Bolat stated that they agreed.

India and Turkey need each other a lot. Turkish pilots will fly IndiGo's Mumbai-Istanbul service.

Both companies are trying to increase frequencies and fly from Delhi to Istanbul.

He hopes the arrangement works out for both airlines. The A320 has smaller operating costs than the 777. There is a chance of increasing the number of wet-leased 777s from three to six.

Turkish Airlines B777-300/ER
Turkish Airlines B777-300/ER

Bolat credited the carrier's operational agility and ability to meet increasing demand for the carrier's net profit of 1.5 billion.

“We expected that there will be a surplus of passengers from other airlines, because of their inefficiency after the pandemic. We at Turkish Airlines did not lay off employees, and that helped us to restart.”

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ahmet Bolat

Turkish's total revenue was $6.1 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

The airline said in its Q3 statement that cargo revenues increased by 110% in the third quarter of the year.