Turkish Airlines (THY) – Europe’s fourth biggest airline and owner of the Skytrax ‘Best European Airline 2011’ award, is experiencing a comfortable increase in the number of transported passengers and moving swiftly to achieve its aggressive strategy of turning Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport (IST) into a hub for transfer passengers travelling between Europe, Asia and Africa and eventually becoming a five-star airline. Transfer passengers are currently one-third of the total 35 million transported by THY and the company has plans to double the transfer capacity in the near future. Adjusting passenger services to meet with the rapidly increasing demand enabled Turkish Airlines to refresh and revitalize the IST CIP-Lounge during the recent weeks. The renovated and expanded lounge at Istanbul Airport is now at service.
The large, 3,000 m2 lounge (nearly three times the size of the former 1100m2 lounge) can accommodate 2,000 passengers per day and is divided in several areas, among which are a billiard hall and library, a TV wall setting, business center for professionals and a ‘Curioz’ themed play room for children. The most interesting and exclusive areas of the new lounge are the private relaxation rooms, including comfy sofa beds, private showers and a private infant room. This luxury and comfort almost makes the passenger sacrifice a flight, therefore Turkish Airlines placed LED-Screen displays to notify passenger of the departures, making sure that no single passenger misses a single flight.
Catering in the lounges is provided by gourmet catering company Turkish Do&Co, which also provides the in-flight catering and has been awarded therefore by Skytrax as the ‘Best Economy Class Catering’ and passengers can help themselves on an extensive menu of hot and cold dishes, pastry, while a chef prepares the Turkish Pizza (Turkish: pide) right on the spot in the specially designed oven. Besides a fresh juice bar, the beverage section an extensive choice of drinks.
The design of Turkish Airlines’ lounge resembles a very chic ambience of modern and traditional architecture with curved arches reflecting the airline’s Ottoman heritage. The lounge also features a 150-year old olive tree and automatic piano that allows passengers to connect their iPod into to have it play their music. The lounge is accessible to Turkish Airlines’ business class passengers as well as elite, and eliteplus members of THY and Star Alliance loyalty programs.