BoraJet prepares for takeoff

Why do these planes, constantly flying in Europe, not come to Turkey? Why can’t small airports be linked using them for little cost? Why don’t we have regular flights between Adana and Antalya, or Istanbul and Bursa? Why do we not have flights to Istanbul or Damascus from Gazipaşa Airport?

We can ask more questions, giving examples from Nevşehir, in central Anatolia, to Siirt in the southeast.

But BoraJet is now turning a new page in Turkish aviation as the regional dimension of airline travel becomes a fact.

In the near future, BoraJet’s 66-seat, double-PWC127F engine ATR72-500 planes will take us to different cities, to airports we have not yet seen.

These planes can even land at or take off from half-ready runways, if necessary. With them, town airports will be linked, in effect challenging cities.

The man in charge hails from Boston, an entrepreneur with a modest life. Yalçın Ayaşlı, whose name is known at institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a wealthy businessman who has been striving to promote Turkey for years.

Captain Kadir Peker, who was appointed as one of the chiefs of the company, is excited about the project.

The firm first bought a hangar at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. Then it purchased three ATR72-500 planes and sent them for maintenance in Cologne. The seats of the planes are beige, their carpets brown and their cabins shiny. The space between the seats is 32 inches, or 81.3 centimeters, close to the business space in regular jets. You can even cross your legs!

The first plane will land at Atatürk Airport sometime between Dec. 15 and 18. The second will land Dec. 25 and the third will be in Istanbul in early January.

After airline procedures are completed, flights to different destinations in Turkey will be planned. Zonguldak will be linked to Istanbul. As the old airport in Bursa becomes operational again, flights there will start too. Thus, the flight lines of Turkey will become much more complicated, pointing toward the development of the country.

A 1,200-meter-long runway is enough for landings and takeoffs of the ATR72-500, which can even land on dirt runways, so pouring concrete everywhere is not necessary. Idle airports such as the one in Alaçatı, Çeşme, will again see planes. Marmaris and Fethiye may also be added to the list.

This has been my dream for a long time. With turboprops, planes will be able to fly to difficult airports under difficult conditions. BoraJet is preparing to take off with affordable prices and decent service.

I hope that hydroplanes that link coastal towns and cities to each other will be next on the list.

It is a great pleasure to see a Turkish businessman living in Boston taking a risk and sharing his enthusiasm with local professionals.

Hurriyet Daily News

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