Amid a fanfare of authentic music and over plates of Turkish treats, Mayor Annise Parker and a crowd of dignitaries saw off the launch of Turkish Airlines new direct, Boeing 777 service to Istanbul last night.
With the launch of the Intercontinental-Kemal Ataturk Airport service, Houston became the fifth U.S. gateway to the Golden Horn, joining America's most international quartet of Los Angeles, New York, Washington, and Chicago.
“We’re delighted that Turkish Airlines can now serve the Houston community and better connect them with our services to 220 destinations globally via Istanbul,” says Hamdi Topçu, Turkish Airlines’ chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee. (Istanbul is three hours flying time from 50 countries.) “Houston is a mecca for international travel. Our hope is that these new flights will make international travel easier and more convenient for both business and leisure travelers in the area.”
Mayor Parker believes the direct flights will strengthen business ties between the sister cities. “I will lead a trade mission later this month to Istanbul to capitalize on the new air service and develop more economic relationships that will build a stronger bond between our global markets,” she said.
Introductory fares start at $599, and that gets you not only to one of the world's great cultural landmarks, but also a crack at Turkish Airlines' literally world-beating economy-class cuisine. Get your tickets here.