Yildiray Karaer, Chairman of the Board of Corendon Airlines tells Graham Newton he is optimistic about aviation’s future, especially its ability to tackle environmental matters.
Can you tell us about the Corendon Airlines business model?
Corendon Airlines is one of the most important elements of the Corendon Tourism Group ecosystem to which it is affiliated. Just like our successful organizations in other areas of tourism, Corendon Airlines is a low-cost airline that has achieved great success in a very short time and is positioned as the “Airline of the Firsts” in the aviation.
Corendon Airlines was established as for the passengers of our tour operator and offered chartered flights then we founded Corendon Airlines Dutch and Corendon Airlines Europe. Today, we continue our operations in charter, seat-only and wet lease business models with three airlines.
Our main activity is to connect the world and Europe to Turkey. At the same time, we organize flights between iconic holiday destinations in Europe. As of 2022, Corendon Airlines flies to 165 destinations in 65 countries and we are expanding our flight network every year in a stable and sustainable way.
Are you confident that we will see business as usual this summer?
We are very hopeful for the summer season of 2022 after the last two years, which were far below annual averages. The demand indicates that these expectations will come true.
Turkish citizens living abroad and tourists who like to travel to Turkey missed our country and Corendon Airlines flights. Additionally, we are trying to offer different alternatives to passengers with the Portugal and Morocco destinations that we added to our flight network this year and the new lines within Europe.
We will expand our fleet and continue to add brand new destinations to our routes. We think that the aviation industry will reach its normal flight frequencies in the summer of 2022.
Have airlines had enough support from their partners, such as airports, ANSPs, and manufacturers?
As you know, such business activities are among the most important expense items of airlines. When flights were grounded, the aircraft had to stay parked and maintenance costs increased. The support of industry stakeholders differed on from company to company.
Some stakeholders have adopted airline-friendly methods, while others have chosen to maintain the normal order. We cannot exactly say that the airlines have received enough support to make the entire sector achieve sustainability. The global aviation community must make decisions or set principles that could be applied to all countries.
How can airlines achieve their environmental goals?
The contribution of air transport in terms of the protection of the planet and nature is getting stronger every year.
We think that we will see significant developments in the coming years in line with the joint action of all stakeholders. Developments in aircraft and aviation fuel technologies provide especially pleasing results. We believe that environmental targets will be achievable and Corendon Airlines will certainly fulfill its duties.
Do you expect health requirements for passengers to stay?
It is because of the worldwide interest in vaccination programs and the greater adoption of mask-social distance-hygiene rules by passengers that flight frequencies are approaching their pre-COVID levels. And thanks to the filtration technologies in the modern aircraft, air travel continues to be the safest and most comfortable way for traveling.
Of course, airlines have also had to make large investments in this area to protect the health of their passengers. The issue has been prioritized in aircraft maintenance, for example, and cabin crew have undergone more extensive training in the field of passenger health.
Given the increase in flights in 2022, we think that air travel’s health safety regime is popular. But the concerns of passengers about health will eventually decrease.
In general, what new trends will we see in aviation post-crisis?
The preferences of passengers will be the determining factor for airlines in the years ahead. Considering the tendency of passengers to stay in closed areas less, we think that direct flights will be preferred in the future. So, airlines will need to create strategies to keep up with passenger requirements.
Also, companies will be more engaged in communicating and prioritizing issues surrounding passengers' health. In addition, airline activity in environmentalism will be more prominent.