June 8, 2017:
Istanbul-headquartered Turkmen Air has taken on a second Learjet 60XR for management. The aircraft will be based in Ankara. Ayca Kocabas, corporate business director of Turkmen parent company Bilen Air Services, says that the range of the Learjet is well-suited to Turkmen's target market: “Seven passengers can travel in it; it is perfect for a party of that size. Personally I prefer it to the Hawker, and the cabin size is very similar. The only difference is that you cannot store so much luggage in the cabin, it has to go in the hold. The Hawker looks bigger than the Learjet from the outside and for this reason, people often prefer the Hawker. But once you are inside the cabin, you can hardly tell the difference between the two. The height is very similar.”
The Learjet is able to connect Istanbul and London with ease, and can fly for up to five and a half hours, depending on weather conditions and the number of passengers.
Kocabas is not ruling out larger types joining the fleet in the future; other aircraft on the Turkmen Air AOC include a Falcon 2000, a Global Express, two Challenger 604s and the first Learjet 60XR. “With larger aircraft we would be able to cater for even more requests than we can at the moment, and quote to more people. The larger our fleet is, the more flexibility we have. It is always better to give the client an extra option to choose from. We are open to adding larger types and types that we have not flown before; everything is possible.
“However, you need to grow safely, not just be big. You need to do it at the right time and with the right people. Most importantly, fly safely.”