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Turkish Airlines History

Turkish Airlines, with the IATA code TK, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to 1933. It is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey and has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious airlines in the world.

The airline was established on May 20, 1933, under the name "State Airlines Administration" with a fleet of just five aircraft. Its initial purpose was to provide domestic air transportation services within Turkey. However, over the years, Turkish Airlines expanded its operations and started offering international flights, connecting Turkey to various destinations around the globe.

Throughout its history, Turkish Airlines has faced numerous challenges and milestones. In the 1950s, the airline introduced jet aircraft to its fleet, becoming one of the first airlines in the world to do so. This marked a significant advancement in the airline industry and allowed Turkish Airlines to offer faster and more efficient flights.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Turkish airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your TK Turkish flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Turkish Airlines’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Turkish has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out TK’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Turkish Airlines, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Turkish 's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Turkish , if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

In the following decades, Turkish Airlines continued to expand its route network and improve its services. It became a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 1956 and joined the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance, in 2008. These memberships have further strengthened the airline's global presence and provided passengers with a seamless travel experience.

Today, Turkish Airlines operates flights to over 300 destinations in more than 120 countries, making it one of the airlines with the most extensive route networks. It boasts a modern fleet of aircraft, including the latest models equipped with state-of-the-art technology and amenities.

Over the years, Turkish Airlines has received numerous accolades and awards for its exceptional service and commitment to passenger satisfaction. It has consistently ranked among the top airlines in the world, recognized for its quality, safety, and customer-oriented approach.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Turkish Airlines Guide.

Find more help here for your journey through the airport