On June 3rd 2015, CargoHub Magazine was invited by Turkish Airlines (Türk Hava Yolları) to celebrate it’s 50th year anniversary of the Istanbul-Amsterdam route. Since then, they have expanded their fleet, with passenger and cargo aircrafts. Besides Schiphol, Turkish Airlines has launched a cargo route to Maastricht and more recently, flying passengers to Rotterdam-The Hague airport. This is a clear sign of the growing passenger market between Turkey and the Netherlands.
During the evening, guests where welcomed with a glass of prosecco to a gala dinner in the Arendshoeve venue, near Schiphol Airport. Looking around the room, I saw many different people with travel industry backgrounds. One of those was a travel agent who organizes vacations for people with special needs. As we all need a vacation now and then, so do they. During our talk, he said it was especially difficult to deal with the different kinds of wheelchairs, because of their sizes and specific needs of its user. This is a man catering to a specific market which clearly needs it.
I also spoke to a manager working for an air cargo forwarder, who was in charge of creating a paperless working environment. This is an interesting development for a large company to undertake such a project. To go from paper to paperless has its advantages and also new short comings. This can be seen as a sign for the industry as a whole, that the time has come to embrace the era of digital databases, and save some trees in the process.
There were many more important guests, high government officials from the Netherlands and Turkey, international representatives, agents from the travel industry and many people from the media.
As a treat, Turkish Airlines was giving away 2 business class, round trip tickets from Amsterdam to Istanbul, including an excursion of the city. In order to win this prize, guests had to take a photograph in a Turkish Airlines picture frame or “speech bubbles” and upload it to their Instagram account, using the hashtag: #TurkishAirlines50yearsinAmsterdam. At the moment of writing this article, the winners have not yet been announced. Furthermore there were many speeches, toasts, the cutting of the 50 year anniversary cake and some traditional Turkish dancers.
The dinner started with 5 appetizers and the main course consisted of two types of lamb, and a very nicely stuffed chicken fillet. Dessert was a combination of fruit, cookies, baklava and pudding.
During the final hour of the event, departing guests were given the latest economy class amenity kit, made by Porsche. A very nice upgrade from their previous kit: sturdy black, including top grade body lotion, toothpaste and a very nice two-way foldable comb.
All in all, it was a very memorable evening. I enjoyed the hospitality, meeting many interesting guests and I am looking forward to what Turkish Airlines will bring in the next 50 years.
‘It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.’ Wilbur Wright