Turkish Airlines Starting Atlanta To Istanbul Flight In May 2016

Filed Under: Turkish

While the “big three” Gulf carriers often get attacked over the rate at which they’re growing, Turkish Airlines has undergone an equally impressive growth rate, and they now fly to more countries than any other airline in the world.

Turkish Airlines has just announced that they’ll be further expanding their US route network, as they add service to their ninth US city.


Turkish Airlines will be launching flights between Istanbul and Atlanta as of May 16, 2016.

The flight will be operated daily with a Boeing 777-300ER, as follows:

TK31 Istanbul to Atlanta departing 1:30PM arriving 7:10PM
TK32 Atlanta to Istanbul departing 10:00PM arriving 4:55PM (+1 day)


This will be the third US route which Turkish launches in a bit over a year. Turkish just launched flights to San Francisco as of April 2015, and is launching flights to Miami as of October 2015.

Interestingly this expansion to Atlanta comes shortly after Qatar Airways announced they would launch service to Atlanta, though that only launches as of July 1, 2016. Turkish will be launching service to Atlanta quite a bit before Qatar Airways does (though one could argue Qatar Airways’ expansion to Atlanta is largely driven by their hate for Delta).

Turkish’s 777-300ERs used on this route will be in a two cabin configuration. Turkish business class seats are fully flat, in a 2-3-2 configuration. While the seats are a bit narrow, overall it’s a very nice product. Long term Turkish really is in need of a business class refresh, though, in my opinion.



Turkish also has DO&CO catering, which is fantastic, and makes up for the somewhat apathetic service.


Bottom line

It’s nice to see Atlanta get some non-SkyTeam growth. While it’s quite a big market, it has been a Delta hub fortress for so long that many airlines haven’t bothered trying to expand there, given the lack of connectivity opportunities. Now we officially have Turkish and Qatar on the way, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Emirates follow shortly as well.

  1. FCQ and I were just discussing last night which gulf carrier would add ATL next. We assumed Emirates, but Turkish (albeit not a ‘gulf’ carrier) never crossed my mind. That should pair nicely with UAs recent (tepid) growth at ATL.

  2. “Turkish Airlines has undergone an equally impressive growth rate, and they now fly to more countries than any other airline in the world.”

    TK has had that title for several years now and they still have quite a lead over the 2nd airline in the ranking (Lufthansa I believe.)

  3. Unlike the three gulf carriers. Turkish airlines is not run by a douche (Al-Baker), a complete maverick (Hogan) nor a well spoken man who wants domination (Clark). It actually cooperates well with United, their first U.S. expansion beyond JFK was Washington, Chicago and Houston. And Temel Kotil actually doesn’t just spew remarks that are rootless (Al-Baker and Anderson).

  4. CEO of Turkish Airlines is probably one of the most reputable CEO in industry. He really likes aerospace industry, and it is one of the most overlooked trait. U.S. used to have great leaders in aerospace like Howard Hughes. Now, CEOs of most U.S. Airlines are idiots whose only goal is to pleased their investors instead of helping the advancement of industry. Most of them do not even understand how does aerospace engineering works. However, CEO of Turkish Airlines, has a PhD from UMichigan and was a professor at UIllinois in aerospace engineering. He is truly passionated in this industry.
    CEO of United,for example, was a lawyer, and only cares about merge and monopolize market instead of improving industry. It is said they only care about the financial side of company.

  5. @Mattias agree. He even helped founded a aviation lab in a University at Istanbul, where his company supported many advanced researches in aerospace engineering.

  6. It is good news for Atlantans! But we need Emirates & Etihad to Atlanta. Turkish connects only to Mumbai & may be N.Delhi. But Emirates & Etihad connects a lot to S.India. Who knows what Delta will do in the interim to BLOCK Turkish & Qatar from Atlanta??

  7. 2-3-2 Business sounds better than Coach but not liking it as much as some alternatives if Star Alliance business awards all cost the same.
    I also wish they would operate the ATL-IST schedule at like 8pm or 9pm to put you into IST earlier in the day. That would be a quick turn even on schedule at 7:10pm arrival though.

  8. This will make it easier for A3 elites based in/near ATL (like myself) to re-qualify, so I’m all for it. Plus with the inexpensive flights TK tends to run it should make getting to Europe on paid tickets easier for those of us stuck in Fortress Delta.

  9. This is great news! I live in Atlanta and have had to connect through ORD, NYC etc. on my way to BOM. Qatar and Turkish coming to Atlanta is awesome news!

  10. @Turgutbey – No Comfort Class (TK’s premium economy), as the airline is phasing out this product across the board (if it hasn’t already).

  11. Hurray! We in the ATL are thrilled to get access to any carrier other than DL and IST is on my bucket list.

  12. What TK needs a CEO who understands service. Coz their service sucks. No two ways about it.

  13. More good news for Atlanta. I hope Emirates will soon announce flights there too. Hopefully an Asian airline will also add Atlanta. It’s nice that Korean Air flies there, but it would be great to have more Asian and Middle Eastern carriers operating at Atlanta.

  14. @Kelvin the Asian carrier most likely to fly to ATL would be China Eastern due to their growing Delta relationship

  15. My Short-List of International Carriers that ought to start routes to ATL:

    1.SAS or Norwegian Air Shuttle.: Delta has no current service to Sweden, Denmark, or Norway.

    2. Xiamen Air or China Southern: both are SkyTeam partners.

    3. Icelandair: rapidly growing airlines, and again, no Delta service from Atlanta to Keflavik.

    4. More Air Canada flights on mainline aircraft: still don’t know why all the AC flights are on tiny regionals that you can barely stand up in.

    5. El Al: again, no service to Israel and would alleviate masses of full and oversold flights out of Newark and JFK.

  16. Looks like space on this flight was recently opened to partners. I was just able to book 4 in J for June using Aeroplan miles.

  17. Can Turkish airlines operate to 3rd big International Airport Kochi (COK) in India? That is a BIG niche market still unexplored by Turkish Airline which is a gold mine.

  18. Good news that Tk are starting to fly to ATL
    I saw a TK 330 taking off from ATL today ?
    Friday 9th October 2015 ?????? Though the route had started.

  19. This is awesome. It has a good connecting flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. Only 3 hours transit. This would be a shortest time to Kathmandu from Atlanta in 21 hours. TK Atlanta to Istanbul will be full on every flight. They need to bring in more nicer plane not 777.

  20. It is very good news to hear Turkish Air line starts flight to Atlanta .I can go to Isfahan from Atlanta Istanbul very good news


  22. I have recently flown from Atlanta to Turkey on this route and the plane I was on was the Boeing 777-300ER Version 1, which had 3 classes: business, comfort economy, and standard economy. I am still abroad so am not sure the configuration for IST to ATL, but assume it will be the same. When I booked my ticket I did not need to pay a fee for the comfort economy and it is coded the same on the website.

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