Turkish Airlines has announced that it plans to operate direct, non-stop service between Istanbul and Vancouver starting this spring.
The airline states that it plans to commence the non-stop flights on Jun. 9, 2020, three times weekly. Flights out of Istanbul will depart at 2:05 p.m. and arrive in Vancouver at 3:50 p.m. Flights out of Vancouver will depart at 5:20 p.m. and arrive in Istanbul at 2:50 p.m.
Each direct flight will take just under 12 hours.
Routes Online posted about the update on Wednesday, Feb. 5, noting that the Star Alliance carrier plans to operate Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on the direct route.
Currently, Turkish Airlines flies non-stop between Istanbul and Toronto, and between Istanbul and Montreal; this will make Vancouver the third Canadian city it visits.
The airline had announced plans to launch the Vancouver route back in October 2019. However, Canada and Turkey had to sign off on changes to a bilateral air-services agreement to enable domestic carriers to fly to three cities in the foreign country, up from two, before that could happen.
Istanbul Airport opened in 2018 and is undergoing expansion that by 2028 is expected to enable it to handle 200 million passengers annually. Dozens of non-stop routes fly from there to countries such as Iran and Russia and would speed travel time to those destinations from Vancouver.
Advocates for years have been lobbying for non-stop flights between Istanbul and Vancouver.
Turkish Airlines currently has 265 aircraft and connects over 300 destinations worldwide.
- With files from Glen Korstrom / Business In Vancouver.