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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Turkish Delight for High Fliers

August 7, 2008

By Edward Stephens

SHORT break travellers will be able to visit the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar direct from Birmingham with the launch of direct flights to Istanbul.

The link up with national flag carrier Turkish Airlines will offer Midland passengers the first direct scheduled service to the city where Europe meets Asia fom the region.

The five weekly flights, which will begin on December 15, will provide onward flight opportunities within Turkey, the Middle East and the Far East, through Turkish Airlines own established route network.

British low fares airline Monarch also yesterday launched a new twice weekly service to Larnaca in Cyprus and increased flights to the Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife.

BIA chiefs remain optimistic that passenger numbers will increase following the partnership with Turkish Airlines, which is ranked alongside Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic by the industry in terms of service.

BIA’s business development director Peter Vella said: “This news is fantastico because the Midlands will have its first direct flight to Istanbul and the excellent range of onward connections across the Middle East and the Asian continent.”

Turkish Airlines will operate a 155-seat mixed configuration Boeing 737-800 aircraft, fitted with 20 seats in business class and 135 in economy, flying on Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Turkish Airlines director for UK Osman Battal said: “Although we will be launching in December with five weekly flights, we aspire to be operating daily services from Birmingham by next summer.”

(c) 2008 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.