ISTANBUL, TURKEYTurkish Airlines, which flies to 334 worldwide destinations, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary in Athens, its first international destination.

Operating its first international flight on February 12, 1947, on Ankara – Istanbul – Athens route, this flight carries special meaning as it was the first time airline carried the national flag on international skies.

Operated with DC-3 type aircraft with TC-ABA tail number, the first international flight of flag carrier departed from Ankara on 12 February 1947 at 10:00 and after a stop in Istanbul, it continued to Athens Airport which was known as Hassani Airport back then. Among the passengers of the 2 hour 40 minute international flight was the era’s Turkish State Airlines General Manager Osman Nuri Baykal.

“We had the honor of carrying our flag to abroad 75 years ago at Athens. While we transported 30 passengers between two neighboring countries on February 12, 1947, now we carry millions of our guests to their loved ones over the continents. As the airline that flies to more countries than any other, we will continue to host our guests with Turkish hospitality and fly our flag proudly in the sky,” Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat said.

Global carrier celebrated 75th anniversary with a special announcement during Istanbul – Atina February 12 flights. During the announcement, the cabin crew addressed passengers saying: “As the airline that flies to more countries than any other, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of our Athens flights, our first international destination. Although many changes occurred in aviation since that first international flight, the excitement and happiness of meeting with our passengers in the skies remained the same for Turkish Airlines. We hope to discover the world for many more years with you.”

Operating its first international flight 75 years ago with only 33 aircraft, Turkish Airlines now boasts one of the world’s youngest fleets with 371 aircraft, flying to Athens with four frequencies and to Thessaloniki with two frequencies, connecting these cities to 127 countries around the world.

As for Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Greece, the flag carrier started to fly to Thessaloniki back in 2001. For these flights, Turkish Airlines operates with TK 1881 flight number in honor of the founder of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Airlines Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in reference to his birth year.