For the first time, non-stop flights to continental Europe will depart Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport flying to Istanbul, Turkey as Turkish Airlines announced that it will now operate a new nonstop flight connecting the two cities.
This comes after the airline on March 28, ended its fifth freedom service of Istanbul-Djibouti-Mogadishu and replaced it with Istanbul – Djibouti, and Istanbul-Mogadishu routes.
The rejig seems to be permanent and, therefore, means Somalia has a scheduled nonstop connection to Europe.
The new route by the Turkish national airline will be operated by the Boeing 737-8 MAX. The flight schedule is as follows:
- Istanbul to Mogadishu: TK646, 02:55-09:50 (6h 55m block time)
- Mogadishu to Istanbul: TK647, 10:40-17:20 (6h 40m)
This is a lucrative route for Turkish Airlines as approximately 49,000 Somali nationals transited through Istanbul from Mogadishu in 2019.
Popular onwards connecting destinations from Mogadishu via Istanbul include London Heathrow and London Gatwick; Ankara, Turkey; Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Oslo, Norway; Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Copenhagen in Denmark.
Competition on this route is very low with the country manager for the airline noting in 2017, “Somalia is one of our most profitable destinations worldwide.”
Given the lack of competition, the airline can take advantage of the situation by increasing the price way above its break-even point, not forgetting that this limits travelers to commute between Mogadishu and the rest of the world.