Maltapoints recently reported that Turkish Airlines is to operate flights between MLA and Istanbul from 25 May 2013.
In your excitement to book flights to Istanbul (it is of course a fantastic destination, and one highly recommended by this website), do not forget that Air Malta already flies to Istanbul, and will continue to do so after 25 May.
Crucially, as things currently stand, Air Malta often appears to offer substantially better value too. As a result, do not forget to check Air Malta’s prices as well as the prices of the new Turkish Airlines flights.
In June 2013, for example, return flights to Istanbul with Air Malta start at €160 (a great price for an Istanbul return), while Turkish Airline’s “promotional fares” start at €241.
In addition, Turkish Airlines haven’t set up a local agent yet, so if you want to speak to them, you need to make an international call to their Turkish call center (+90 dialing code!). The rumour is that they’ll be setting up in MLA before long, but nothing yet.
We do, of course, see Turkish Airline’s formal establishment in Malta as a good thing, and will be keeping a very close eye on flight prices to Istanbul now that there is proper competition on the route. Needless to say, we will alert you should Turkish Airlines offer any better value deals than those currently available, but at the time of writing it seems that the bargain Istanbul flights are (a little surprisingly) with Air Malta, not Turkish Airlines.
A final reminder that should you choose to fly with Turkish Airlines over Air Malta, you should sign up to Miles&Smiles to earn points.