Aviation: Turkey’s SunExpress mulls West African routes with B737 MAX
SunExpress is evaluating launching non-stop routes to West Africa operated with B737 MAX 8s out of each of Turkey and Germany, head of network planning and scheduling Wilken Bellmann has told Routesonline.
“Accra and other West-African markets are on the radar and we need to have discussions before we launch any routes but we are definitely having discussions. The internal data is interesting but route development is a long process and we have to be really sure it is feasible,” Bellmann said.
The leisure carrier, a 50/50 joint-venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, has a total of thirty-two B737 MAX 8s on order with Boeing with deliveries scheduled to commence in 2019 and continue through 2024. The first five units of the type are expected to deliver next year.
The new aircraft will be deployed both with the Turkish unit and with its German subsidiary SunExpress Deutschland.
According to the ch-aviation capacity module, neither of the units currently offers any scheduled flights to sub-Saharan Africa. The German subsidiary flies to Hurghada in Egypt and to Agadir in Morocco in terms of its general African network.
SunExpress currently operates fifty B737-800s (nineteen of them on behalf of Turkish Airlines low-cost division and six A320-200s wet-leased from Avion Express. In turn, the German unit operates eleven B737-800s on its own network and seven A330-200s on behalf of Eurowings.