It has just been announced that Turkish Airlines is to start flying directly from Istanbul to Malta this summer. Flights will run 3 x weekly starting from 25 May 2013, as follows:
TK1369 IST1235 – 1420 MLA
TK1370 MLA1515 – 1835IST
This isn’t an entirely “new” service in that Turkish Airlines already codeshares with Air Malta on flights from Istanbul to Malta (with the service actually run entirely by Air Malta). However, it obviously offers a greater choice and range of flights and, hopefully, better value fares as a result of the route now becoming a little more “competitive”.
From a Maltapoints perspective, there’s now a clear reason to join Turkish Airlines frequent flyer programme, Miles&Smiles, which you can do here. In terms of an instant benefit, it does appear that Turkish Airlines will, “at their discretion”, upgrade “elite” members of other airline frequent flyer programmes to its own Gold status, for free. To do this, you need to first join Miles&Smiles on the link above and then:
– Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a scan of your other airline membership card and account statement
– You should hear from Turkish Airlines in 7-10 days with their ‘decision’ on your status match query.
Given the current codeshare, you can of course earn Miles&Smiles points on the existing Air Malta flights to Istanbul, but this would be at the expense of KMiles, so is not recommended by Maltapoints.
I will of course be keeping a close eye on developments here for any special offers or further Miles&Smiles bonuses.