Turkish Airlines eyes Juba for later this year


(Posted 24th March 2015)

Inspite of the ongoing conflict in South Sudan has Turkish Airlines restated their intent to add Juba to their growing list of African destinations though no firm startup date has been given as of now. South Sudan presently has few international airline connections, apart from Kenya Airways, RwandAir, Flydubai, Egypt Air and Ethiopian and to have a truly global carrier commence flights will no doubt provide a boost to economic development and tourism development when the conflict is eventually resolved and peace returns to Africa’s youngest nation.

Turkish is of course no stranger to opening up routes into conflict ridden countries as it was the first to launch flights to Mogadishu at the time, again apart from some smaller regional carriers. Turkish Airlines presently serves some 40 destinations in Africa, with the most recent addition being Abuja, their third destination in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano but has already shown intent to increase this number to eventually 50, with notably Southern Africa at the moment largely underserved though Cape Town will join Johannesburg as of October this year as a second nonstop destination, removing the enroute stop in Johannesburg.

This places Turkish Airlines as far as African connections are concerned in clear pole position, way ahead of Emirates and Qatar Airways, the latter just having announced the launch of flights to Zanzibar as their 20th destination on the continent.

Sources in Juba have largely expressed ignorance over the planned flights by Turkish to the South Sudan capital but broadly welcomed the development when made aware of the upcoming new air links with Istanbul.