Turkish Airlines has signed an agreement with the Association of Service Exporters (HİB) to help Türkiye’s growing medical tourism reach its export service revenue target of $5 billion in 2023.
Under the agreement signed on August 18, the national airline will cooperate with more than 700 HİB member companies operating in the healthcare services sector.
“Our goal is to facilitate the travel of foreigners arriving in Turkey to receive medical services and contribute to health service exports,” said Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines.
Export revenue of the country’s service export industry rose 60% in 2021 from a year earlier to $58.1 billion, posting a trade surplus of $26.3 billion dollars, Bolat said.
In the first half of 2022, the industry’s revenue grew 69% on an annual basis to $33 billion, with the trade surplus amounting to $14.5 billion, according to Bolat.
Revenues from service exporters are expected to reach $90 billion this year, he said, adding that the goal is to generate at least $110 billion in export revenue by 2023.
For his part, Orhan Gazi Yiğitbaşı, from the HİB Board of Directors, said that the export revenue of the medical tourism industry stands at $1.6 billion in 2021, while revenue forecasts export for 2022 were $2.5 billion.
“I am convinced that with the cooperation agreement signed with Turkish Airlines, we can easily achieve the reception targets of 1.5 million patients and $5 billion in export revenue set for 2023,” he said. he added.
Revenues from the health tourism industry exceeded $1 billion last year.
“But that figure is probably much higher, at around $2.5 billion to $3 billion if unrecorded revenue is included,” said Cihat Alagöz, chairman of the Chambers Union’s Trade Fair Industry Council. and Türkiye Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). comment.
In 2002, the share of health expenditure in Turkey’s overall tourism was only 1%, but increased to 4.5% in 2020.
Alagöz added that in 2021, average spending per foreign tourist was $750, but in the health tourism sector, spending per capita was around $2,000.
THY hires more cockpit crew
Providing information on Turkish Airlines operations, Bolat also noted that the carrier serves 129 countries with a fleet of 386 aircraft and 65,000 employees.
He added that Turkish Airlines’ passenger revenue increased by 8% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period of 2019 to reach $5.4 billion, while cargo revenue increased by around 2. 5 times to reach $2 billion.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has announced that it will hire additional experienced captains and co-pilots to meet demand which has increased in the post-COVID period. It is already collecting applications for vacant positions. Turkish Airlines currently employs 5,525 pilots.