goal is to be a top-line enabler and to position our offering amongst
the top echelon of the world’s cargo carriers by 2023, as
the Turkish Republic celebrates its 100th anniversary,” Turkish
Airlines Chief Cargo Officer, Mr. Turhan Özen said.
“So, with everything else we are about,
building our offering to the world is a matter of national pride,”
News that Turkish Cargo will debut a brilliant
new cargo center on March 2 hit the air cargo industry with a thunderclap
late last week, and for sheer excitement surpasses the news cycle so far
“Now the date has been set to begin
a new chapter in air cargo,” Turhan Özen smiles.
“The world’s biggest air cargo
facility – SmartIST is just the start,” Mr. Özen said.
“When fully realized Istanbul Cargo
Village can move six million tons annually.
“In Phase One SmartIST can move 2.5
Bearing witness to the rapid rise of both
airline and country is the transportation connectivity within Europe where
Turkish Airlines and Turkey go head to head versus just about everybody.
“In terms of hub connectivity,”
Turhan points out, “while IST airport was 12th in 2008, it advanced
to the 4th position in 2018.
“IST Airport in 2018 was also 5th
in Europe, for offering the most direct connections.
“We were the 29th busiest cargo airport
in the world in 2011, moving up to 20th in 2017.
“We are keeping apace of continuing to increase our business to
be 5th busiest cargo gateway in the world by 2023,” Turhan said.
The Game Changer
“For Turkish Cargo, operating in a
facility that offers more than three and quarter million square feet (300,000m2),
is a real game changer.
“Here will be both human and artificial
intelligence driving optimization to the next level via enhanced automated
“Special cargo services, including
PER-AVI-Express and E-Commerce will drive throughput toward our eventual
Phase Two goal of delivering more than four million tons via SmartIST
Great Free Trade Opportunities
“The modular design of SmartIST and
Istanbul Cargo Village offers great Free Trade Zone (FTZ) opportunities,”
Mr. Özen reports.
Top Five By 2023
Having been a cornerstone in social, cultural
and economic terms for hundreds of years, Istanbul with its airline and
new airport emerges in 2019 as a brand-new mainstay for the global air
Turkish Cargo aims to increase the number
of destinations served by direct cargo flights, to reach 150 by 2023.
The prospect of a place that as part of
the grand scheme will land IST and Turkish Cargo at or near the top of
world cargo rankings ahead, as a prediction and projection is one thing.
But this giant new mega cargo terminal rising
amidst the once and future trade center of the earth, is perfectly situate
as the world travel center gravity point moves to Turkey in 2031 according
to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.
Hub of the World Location
“It all adds up,” Turhan assures.
Turkey is located at the central position
of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“For Gateway Turkey advanced connectivity
capabilities also serve developing countries with integration by air,
sea, and railways.
“We have tailor-made special cargo
divisions to serve and enhance our unbeatable geographical position in
“Others may have plateaued or even
due to space and other airport-related restrictions have cut capacity.
“Our great new airport and cargo transfer
facility marks the continuation of our program to grow organically by
building in capabilities for today, and future demands and needs.
“One example is how our new gateway
operation increases transit cargo operation efficiency with cutting-edge
automated operational technologies.”
The cargo operation in the shadow of the
exquisite, most beautiful in the world, Air Traffic Control Tower designed
by Pina Farina, reveals a vista where on a clear day you can almost see
forever, past and present.
From the towering experience emerges fast-growing
downtown Istanbul and its Roman-walled UNESCO World Heritage district,
the ancient Sultanahmet.
In the spirit of what goes around comes
around, Turhan reveals that the Istanbul magic carpet ride is taking off
in what is among the oldest, still inhabited cities in the world.
“Our new SmartCargo IST offering will
push the bar way up for technology and capabilities, equaling and indeed
surpassing every other world gateway,” Mr. Özen promises.
“Combined with the cargo carriage
capacity of Turkish Airlines, that flies to more countries than any other
airline, THY flies 84 freighter and 308 passenger destinations. In 2023,
it is expected to reach 150 freighter and 350 passenger destinations to
maintain our upward trend,” Turhan Özen said.
“Turkish Cargo 2019 will include substantial
innovations in our offering to the global air cargo community.
“We want our service partners to know
that everything we do is aimed at customer benefit and satisfaction.
“Turkish Cargo is all about the customer.
“Medical products, that we transport
are a good example.
“These consignments are entrusted
to us, repeatedly because our customers are aware that we exert every
effort on their behalf handling these vital shipments that may save the
life of an individual.
“I know Turkish Cargo very well and
trust that brand to handle every shipment right.”
“We are constantly monitoring and
adapting our offering to meet and exceed market needs beyond expectation.
“Taking things further, we have adopted
some organizational changes, and established a customized system oriented
at individuals, that is second to none in air cargo today.”
Keeping In Touch
“Communication" is the most significant
concept for us during the new era, so we consistently work towards a solution-oriented
approach to all of our customers,” Mr. Özen declared.
“Turkish Cargo welcomes the future
and cannot wait until tomorrow because our hard work and dedication and
love of what we do truly lifts the bar every day.”