On June 3rd 2015, was the 50th anniversary gala dinner of Turkish Airlines flying to Schiphol Airport. In the aftermath of the gala dinner, Turkish Airlines Amsterdam proposed an interview with the Sales & Marketing Vice President of Turkish Cargo: Mr. Halit Anlatan.
Mr. Halit is a busy man. He has a department to run, meetings to attend to and in the meantime, flying his share of the industry’s nautical miles too. He presents himself as a friendly and eager man, like a good Sales and Marketing VP should be. Turkish Cargo now flys to 44 destinations in Africa, Dakar being the latest addition to their global network. Their fleet consists of Airbus A310 and A330 freighters, with a Max. capacity of 65 tons. Turkish Cargo is one of the fastest growing cargo carriers in the world, expanding their domestic and international network and meeting IATA standards as well.
When did you start working for Turkish Cargo and why?
‘It was seven years ago. I started my background in the logistics sector 2001-2004, when I worked for Schenker. Later I entered Turkish Airlines working for Miles&Smiles and was promoted to Cargo. It’s a habit, I like the elements of logistics and aviation in my work.’
When New Istanbul Airport(the biggest in the world) opens its doors, there will be two big airports including Atatürk. How will you be reorganizing Turkish Cargo operations?
‘The location we are now, we have been renting for four years. We have expanded capacity to 39 special cargo rooms and expect to handle 770 thousand tons of cargo this year. We are eager to move. After the third airport construction is completed, we will move all operations to the new airport, cargo and passenger. We are planning a 150.000 m2 cargo area in the third (Istanbul’s)airport, and a modernization of systems. When we started planning the new cargo area, we realized this would be a hard job; From roller beds to sensors, you need skillful engineers. But as always, we confide on our power.’
In 2012, Turkish Airlines stated that it intends on flying to destinations like Mexico City and Havana. Many airlines, including KLM, have increased capacity to Central and South- America. What are the latest developments and Cargo opportunities?
‘We are still talking about that. The issue is the distance. We would like to transfer at one of our 106 European destinations, or another, in order to do the cross-over. It’s not easy to arrange a fuel-stop nearby.’
The aviation industry is slowly entering the era of digital databases and creating paperless working environments. Do you have any insight when it comes to these changes and how will it impact Turkish Cargo?
‘We are implementing a new IT system, COMIS(cargo operation management information system) also for Track&Trace, It’s change management. Of course this is a man power business, but there is also more (I added)human error. We have been working on the system for 2 years and plan to fully implement it at the end of October.’
Are you planning on flying to Amsterdam?
‘Sometimes we think about this, but it is easier to fly to Maastricht. We have been flying there for 15 years because of the geographical position and aircraft handling is easier there. It’s what the customer wants, it’s all about customer needs. We would like to increase main deck cargo at Amsterdam.’