Turkish Airlines and Kuwait Airways have signed a new strategic partnership, which will see their respective codes added to their partner’s flights between Kuwait and Istanbul’s two hubs, the newly opened Istanbul Airport and the city’s secondary entry point, Sabiha Gökçen.

The codeshare will start Aug. 1.

The two airlines have had a commercial relationship since 1991, which was strengthened in May by signing a renewed special prorate agreement. The new codeshare is designed to improve further the links between the carriers.

Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, is a popular destination for Gulf Arabs, particularly for leisure travel.

Kuwait Airways operates seven flights a week with Airbus A330s/A320s and Boeing 777-300s to Istanbul’s newly opened main airport, and the same number to Sabiha Gökçen.

Turkish Airlines has a significantly greater presence on the routes, operating 28 weekly flights with A330s/A320s and Boeing 737-800s from Istanbul, and a further 14 with A320s and 737-800s from Sabiha Gökçen.

“Istanbul is the natural and historical connection point between Asia and Europe,” Turkish Airlines GM Bilal Ekşi said. “The opening of our new home base, Istanbul Airport, will further contribute and create new opportunities for our airline.”

Both carriers are now looking to incorporate their respective frequent flyer programs into the codeshare agreement and plan to explore other avenues for future cooperation.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com