ISTANBUL: Turkish Airlines has denied rumours that its shares are being sold to foreign investors.
“News reports about the sale of Turkish Airlines that surface from time to time have no basis in reality,” Yahya Ustun, the airline’s top media relations official, said on Wednesday, 27 March.
Since last week, misleading reports have emerged on the internet saying that Turkey’s national carrier has sold a minority stake to Qatar Airways under a multi-billion dollar deal, according to Daily Sabah.
“We wish to respectfully inform the public that we reserve our legal rights about these baseless speculations,” Ustun said on Twitter, indicating the company might take action against those spreading false reports.
Turkish Airlines regularly features among top international carriers in rating lists of best airlines.
Bilal Eksi, the CEO, says Turkish Airlines connects more destinations together than any other airline in the world — including places where Turkey has no embassy.
“We fly to 34 countries in Africa,” Eksi said on Wednesday, speaking at a university in Turkey’s Black Sea region.
The airline has also moved to capture markets long ignored by its competitors. For instance, Turkish is the only major international airline flying to Somalia.
Eksi says his company now has a fleet of over 330 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes, an over fivefold rise from its fleet of 65 jets in 2003.
In 2018, Turkish Airlines carried 75.2 million passengers and this year aims to reach 80 million passengers on domestic and international routes.