Detroit has no shortage of great flight options, but new routes that just opened up give Motor City residents more options than before. Turkish Airlines just gave Detroit residents the chance to fly to Istanbul, Turkey on direct flights. This is the only direct flight between Detroit and Istanbul, and it’s part of a new initiative from Turkish Airlines to expand service in the United States.
At first, Turkish Airlines plans to slowly roll out the flights between Detroit and Istanbul. They will only offer flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until December. Turkish Airlines will offer nonstop flights from Detroit to Istanbul will be on Saturdays as of December 25th.
Delta Airlines currently accounts for most of the flights out of Detroit, but Turkish Airlines has upped the competition. Other international airlines, like Icelandair, have added international flights from Detroit contributing to the rise in international flights from the Midwest. No other airline offers direct flights from Detroit to Istanbul, and you don’t have to wait long to take your flight.
The first flight from Detroit to Istanbul is on November 15th. After a long wait since 2021 when Turkish Airlines first announced its intentions, passengers will embark on a 10-hour flight to Istanbul. Economy seat tickets cost $775 and business class tickets cost as much as $4,040.
The flight will take place on a Boeing 787-9 which can accommodate 300 passengers. Once in Turkey, travelers can access flights to 120 countries and 300 airports through Turkish Airlines. However, most of the passengers traveling from Detroit are likely to take roundtrip flights because it’s the only nonstop route to Istanbul from the city.
Flights will depart from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Airport representative Chad Newton said, “A significant portion of our customers have been looking forward to this news for quite some time. Metro Detroiters with family overseas and those simply looking to travel internationally will benefit immensely from the direct flight to Istanbul and the connecting flights to other international markets.”
The addition of Detroit to Turkish Airlines’ roster of U.S. cities they offer flights out of raises the tally to 13. Previously, Turkish Airlines offered flights from Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, Boston, and Houston, among other cities. After Chicago, Detroit is the second city where you can fly to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines’ executive chairmen said, "It's exciting to open another gateway in the Midwest region, connecting travelers from neighboring areas through the bustling hub of Detroit”. Turkish Airlines plans to continue to expand service within the United States throughout 2023 and 2024. The next city they will offer flights to Istanbul from is Denver.
This all contributes to Turkey’s goal to expand international tourism. Turkey has slowly become a bigger hub for tourism in the past few years, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Turkish Airlines has also incentive tourists to stop in Istanbul en route to other destinations.
Travelers with a 20-hour layover can get a free hotel room courtesy of Turkish Airlines. While Turkish Airlines isn’t a household name for many U.S. residents, it has ranked among the best airlines many times. The addition of Detroit and Denver to Turkish Airlines’ is a sign of more participating airports to come.
Turkish Airlines is also known as the most sustainable airline, and they plan to be carbon-neutral within the next 27 years. While the flight from Detroit to Istanbul takes 10 hours, Turkish Airlines will mitigate emissions as much as possible. They reduced their emissions by 181,379 gallons in 2022 alone.
International travel to Istanbul has drastically increased in the past few years. In 2021, Istanbul saw 9 million international visitors. The following year, 16 million travelers visited Istanbul. International travel continues to grow and become more popular, so the addition of new routes in the U.S. will serve the new trend.
Previously, the busiest year for tourism in Istanbul was 2019 when 14 million travelers visited the city. The flights to Istanbul from Detroit are limited in 2023, but they are likely to expand if the new route proves successful. Now is the best time to book winter flights before fares increase, so make sure to plan your trip from Detroit to Istanbul as soon as possible.