Home Travel News

One month to go! Turkish Airlines brings forward Melbourne launch & changes plane

Turkish Airlines has brought forward its arrival in Australia by two weeks, in the next chapter of one of the most anticipated, and changing, airline launches in recent memory in Australia.

Turkish Airlines has brought forward its arrival in Australia by two weeks, in the next chapter of one of the most anticipated, and changing, airline launches in recent memory in Australia.

Confirming the move, Melbourne Airport told Karryon the first Turkish Airlines flight out of Australia would now be departing Tullamarine on 2 March 2024 (Saturday) instead of 16 March

According to Turkish Airlines’ website, Istanbul-bound services, flight TK169, will depart Melbourne at 2230 on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, scheduled to touch down in Turkey at 1115 the next day.

With a total journey time of around 20 hours and 45 minutes, the service includes a 1.5-hour layover at Singapore Changi Airport.

The first service between Istanbul and Melbourne, flight TK168, will depart Turkey at 1730 on 1 March (Friday), arriving in Victoria at 2040 the next day.  

Melbourne-bound flights will depart Istanbul on Fridays, Mondays and Wednesdays and also include a 1.5-hour layover in Singapore, for a total trip time of approximately 19 hours and 10 minutes.

More passengers per plane

Turkish Airlines
Parked Turkish Airlines planes.

As well as bringing forward its launch, Turkish Airlines has changed its aircraft for the route, with a larger Boeing 777-300ER wide-body replacing the Boeing 787-9 originally slated for the service. 

Melbourne Airport told Karryon that “from our point of view, we’re ready” for the new service. But with the launch just over four weeks away, it stated that there was still a lot of work to be done before flights commenced, especially from the carrier’s end. 

Turkish Airlines officially confirmed the new service in mid-January, making it the only mainland European carrier to fly to Australia. 

TurkishAirlines-Header
TK crew.

The airline had originally planned to commence operations down under in December 2023, all but confirming the move in June.

To help launch its flights to Australia, Turkish Airlines said it would recruit Australian actor Margot Robbie as its brand ambassador. 

In December 2023, Melbourne Airport became the first Australian capital city airport to exceed 100 per cent of pre-pandemic capacity for international flights.