Turkish Airlines has been a member of the Star Alliance since April 2008, so that passengers are now able to take part in the frequent flyer program, collect air miles and use the airport lounges. In 2009, the airline was the fastest growing European airline. During the year when most airlines experienced a decrease in passenger numbers due to the financial crisis, Turkish Airlines' passenger numbers actually increased.
Currently, Turkish Airlines has 189 aircraft (2012). The fleet consists of various Airbus and Boeing types. The airline owns 65 Boeing and 62 Airbus machines and 4 A310 cargo aircraft.
Turkish Airlines was founded in May 1933 under the name of Turkiye Devlet Hava Yollari (DHY). The first scheduled flight flew from Istanbul to Ankara. After World War II, DHY bought several Douglas DC-3, later followed by some De Havilland DH114 Heron 2B.
The airline was restructured in 1956, and the Turkish state took the largest share of the company. The Turkish airline was also given its current name. In July 1957, the company ordered aircraft from the manufacturer Vickers Viscount. These aircraft were used on European routes in 1964 and flew for example to Brussels. With the purchase of aDouglas DC 9-14 in 1967, the airline entered the jet age.
More recently, Turkish Airlines ordered seven Airbus A310s. Four of these were delivered in 1985 and used on regional routes in place of the Boeing 707 and Boeing 727. In 1993 Turkish Airlines began to operate first-class flights in an Airbus A 340-300. In the following years, the company expanded in response to increased competition from so-called budget airlines by founding the subsidiary Anadolu Jet, which serves domestic routes.
The route network covers all continents except Australia and South America, the most frequently served destinations being in Europe and Asia, such as London or Manchester. In North America the airline flies to New York and Chicago for example.