Turkish Airlines reported a $755 million net profit for the first nine months—nearly tripled from a net profit of $263 million for the year-ago period. The company cited increasing demand and unit revenues for the profit jump.

Operating revenue for the period rose 20% year-over-year (YOY) to $9.9 billion, while expenses were up 17.9% to 8.7 billion. The expense increase was driven largely by a 33% hike in fuel costs.

“Despite the various regional and sectoral conditions that we have encountered, especially in last few years, the persevering attitude we displayed has been the source of our steady rise,” board chairman Ilker Ayci said.

The Istanbul-based carrier’s EBITDAR rose 16% YOY to $2.8 billion, with an EBITDAR margin of 28%, down 1.1 points.

Turkish carried 57.6 million passengers in the period, up 11.6%, YOY, while ASKs increased 6%, RPKs were up 10.3% and load factor reached 82%, up 3.2 points.

The airline’s Turkish Cargo business carried just over 1 million tons for the period, up 25% YOY. Cargo revenue increased by 29% to $1.2 billion.

The Star Alliance member operates 329 aircraft: 217 narrowbodies, 92 widebodies and 20 cargo aircraft. The airline expects delivery of 19 Airbus A321neos, six Boeing 787-9s, five 737 MAX 9s and 12 737 MAX 8s next year and plans to reach a fleet of 475 aircraft by 2023. 

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at