Istanbul - Despite a coup attempt in its home country, Turkey's national carrier Turkish Airlines was confident it would continue to grow, particularly in Africa.
“Istanbul will rise and Africa will rise. We will rise together,” said the airline's chairperson Ilker Ayci.
On Wednesday, Ayci was addressing a group of journalists from across Africa and Asia.
Press from the two continents, including Independent Media, were invited to Istanbul by Turkish Airlines. This, after the July coup attempt that rocked the ancient nation.
“We are obliged to tell you and explain to you what is happening,” said Ayci, “And that is why we have invited you here.”
Emphasising the nation's resilience, Ayci went on to discuss the airline's short-term plans for Africa.
Already flying to 41 destinations in Africa, three more would soon be added. Zanzibar and the Seychelles would be added to the airline's flight schedule, at the end of October and on December 12 respectively.
Guinea would also be added, but only in 2017. Ayci apologised for the delay in flying to Guinea, citing the coup attempt as the delay factor.
In its continued bid to grow and one day be named the biggest and best airline in the world, Ayci spoke of the new airport in Istanbul, currently under construction.
Predicted to carry 90 million passengers per annum, the airline envisaged better connecting the north to the global south and the west to the east with Turkey as the central hub.
“We will continue to grow in Africa,” said Ayci.
“It is an honour for us to connect Africa to the rest of the world,” he said.