Turkish Airlines arrives in Melbourne putting downward pressure on cost of air travel

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Turkish Airlines has touched down in the Australian market for the first time with flight TK168 landing in Melbourne.

Minister for Jobs and Industry Natalie Hutchins said it was “a significant milestone to have Turkish Airlines to Melbourne Airport”.

Current economy fares start from $1,499 return and business fares from $7,599 return.

Turkish Airlines Chairman Professor Dr Ahmet Bolat said the airline would expand to Sydney later this year.

“Australia, with its breathtaking landscapes and warm-hearted people, now becomes the 130th country to join our expansive network, signifying our presence across six continents,” he said.

“Although our countries are far apart, we know that the people of both countries feel very close to each other the thousands of Australian visitors who visit the Gallipoli Peninsula every year for Anzac Day, and the thousands of Turkish people who have made this beautiful country their home.”

Melbourne Airport’s Andrew Lund welcomed the arrival of another major international carrier, saying the added competition would put downward pressure on prices.

“Turkish Airlines is a huge global player, initially these three flights a week into Melbourne will be a bit of a game changer for the Australian market,” Lund said.

The new service currently stops over at Singapore but the airline will launch a direct service once larger aircraft become available.