Turkish Airlines’ Inaugural Nonstop Route from Denver to Istanbul Takes off as DEN’s Longest Flight

On June 11, Turkish Airlines serviced its first-ever direct flight from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Istanbul Airport (IST). This marks the longest flight operating out of DEN at 12 hours and 45 minutes, and 6,130 miles — beating United’s direct flight to the Narita Airport in Tokyo. Turkish Airlines is now the 26th airline to operate at Denver’s airport.

The inaugural flight, TK201, took off from Istanbul Airport (IST) on June 11 at 13:55 local time and arrived at Denver International Airport (DEN) on June 11 at 17:40, while the return flight, TK202, departed from Denver to Istanbul on Tuesday at 19:35 local time, arriving at Istanbul Airport (IST) on June 12 at 16:25 local time. 

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Celebrations took place at DEN on Tuesday highlighting Turkish Airline’s new direct flight from DEN to IST.

This milestone for DEN was celebrated on Tuesday night with a gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Denver. The CEO of DEN, Phil Washington, and Prof. Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines spoke about the importance of this partnership, for DEN and IST. 

“We are delighted to add a new route to our expanding flight network. We began our operations in the Americas on August 26, 1988, with flights to New York via Brussels, and six years later, on July 16, 1994, we began direct flights to New York,” said Bolat. “Today, we are proud to fly directly to 14 destinations in the United States, including Denver. This new route will offer our passengers the opportunity to discover the historical and cultural richness of Istanbul and our country.”

This partnership stands to benefit Denver greatly as well. “This flight will generate more than $54 million in economic impact to Colorado’s economy, and it will support the creation of 350 new jobs, resulting in $21 million in wages in Denver,” said Washington. “This partnership fits in with DEN’s strategic plan we put into place 3 years ago to increase our global connections and if this isn’t increasing our global connections, I don’t know what is.” 

turkish airlines
Ahmet Bolat speaks at the Tuesday night’s gala announcing the inaugural nonstop flight from Denver to Istanbul. Photo by Jessica Hughes.

Washington went on to share that this partnership is part of DEN’s overall vision to expand its global reach. Since 2021, DEN has added four international airlines and five new international destinations in the past few years, bringing DEN’s global reach to 17 countries. 

Denver’s Mayor, Mike Johnston highlights the economic importance for Denver as well: “This is a historic announcement for the Mile High City and truly enhances Denver’s competitive position on the global stage. The investment by Turkish Airlines will further strengthen our diversity, both commercially and culturally, and provide new opportunities for trade and travel.”

This route marks the airline’s 14th U.S. flight connecting to more than 340 destinations worldwide. Turkish Airlines leads international travel as the global airline flying to more countries than any other airline. Turkish Airlines’ centrally located home base at Istanbul Airport, on track to become the world’s largest international travel hub, is positioned to connect to more than 80 destinations within a three-hour flight. In the United States, the airline currently flies to 13 cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  

Turkish Airlines will operate three weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Starting July 9, the airline will increase these to four weekly flights, adding Sundays to the schedule. Special launch prices are available with tickets purchased by July 3, 2024, Turkish Airlines passengers can benefit from prices starting at $787, for travel dates between June 11 and July 20, 2024.

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