International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics
Saturday, 25.05.2013, 09:53
Director of Turkish Airlines: Turkey is a significant partner to the economy of Latvia
|Melih Yama, Director of Turkish Airlines in the Baltic States.|
On July 1, 2012, the expected visit of Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, and Turkish business delegation was cancelled due to the President’s health condition. Nevertheless, Melih Yaman, the representative of Turkish Airlines in the Baltic States and one of the largest Turkish companies in Latvia, encourages addressing issues and holding discussions as planned during the anticipated week dedicated to Turkey and Latvia’s cooperation despite the fact that the President’s visit to Latvia has been postponed.
The goal of the visit of the Turkish delegates was to develop the economic cooperation between the two countries as well as to stimulate mutual trust since Turkey is an essential export and NATO partner to Latvia.
Melih Yaman states that Turkish Airlines sees the relationship with Latvia and the Baltic States as perspective through managing airline business and furthering the integral economic relationship and trust because Turkey is a potentially significant partner to the economy of this comparatively small country as well as a partner of Latvia in NATO.
The priority in the relationship of the two countries is developing the economic relations, which requires political willingness and effort to develop effective processes making Latvia more attractive to investors. Melh Yaman mentions solving the visa issue as one of the main tasks in attracting Turkish investments; that is often an unpleasant obstacle to successful business. Also, long and complicated bureaucratic procedures must be gone through in order to establish new companies in the EU countries, and that discourages investors.
The latest strategy of Turkish Airlines in the airline business is service improvement, introduction of new flights as well as increased number of flights to many destinations. Since January 1, 2012, there has been a rise in the number of flights from Istanbul to destinations such as London, Basra, New York, Los Angeles, Leipzig, Osaka, Entebbe, Tashkent, Kuwait, Rome, Izmir, Antalya a.o. New destinations have been added to the list, too, – Taif and Yanbu, the cities of Saudi Arabia, Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, Kigali, the capital of Ruanda, Bilbao, the city of Spain a.o.
Till this spring, the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia listed 81 Latvian-Turkish joint companies. Therefore, it is even more significant that flights from Riga are being increased in number; as of September 13, 2012, flights Riga–Istanbul will be increased to 5 a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays). The number of these flights might be increased up to 7 in the closest future. That would enable passengers to reach their desired destination easier and with more convenient connected flights. The future also holds an increased number of daily flights from all the Baltic States airports to various destinations.
Melih Yaman is especially proud of that fact that not only successful business has been developed in Latvia, but also amicable and mutually beneficial partnerships have been established through support to culture and sport. A significant achievement is the cooperation with the Latvian National Opera where Turkish Airlines has become the patron of the Riga Opera Festival 2012. The air company has also supported the Latvian artists at the Eurovision song contest as well as backed the golf tournament “Arclinea Latvia Match Play” for the second year in a row.
Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance member that organizes flights to more than 200 destinations worldwide. Turkish Airlines is a 4 star airline that is also one of the first air companies to offer the service “Flying Chef” to the long-distance business class passengers. On April 26, 2012, at the ceremony of the 2012 Freddie Awards, the Turkish Airlines loyalty programme “Miles&Smiles” was announced as one of the best loyalty programmes in the world and was awarded in two subcategories of the Europe and Africa region: “Best Airline Programme” and “ Best Credit Card Programme”. In addition, in 2011, Turkish Airlines was awarded the “Skytrax” award in the categories “Best Airline in Europe”, “Best Premium Class Seats” and “Best Airline in South Europe”. In 2010, the company was awarded in the category “World’s Best Economy Class Airline Onboard Catering” and in 2011, according to the poll results, it was awarded in the category “Best Onboard Catering”.