(MENAFN - Bangladesh Monitor) Congo : The national flag carrier Turkish Airlines launched its first flight between Pointe Noire and Istanbul on July 30. The airline will operate three weekly flights to this economic capital of the Republic of Congo.
The flights are seen by both Turkey and Congo as a move to boost tourism especially in the oil-dependent Central African nation. Pointe Noire becomes the 58th destination of the carrier in Africa after Port Harcourt in Nigeria and the 313th worldwide.
"With this inaugural Pointe-Noire flight, we increased our destinations to 58 in the continent of Africa. As the flag carrier of Turkey, we cement our position as the airline that flies to more destinations in Africa than any other airline in line with our growth strategy in this continent. Our new flights will offer new opportunities for us to increase our existing cultural connections in the Republic of Congo. We will continue to spread the Turkish hospitality and the continuous travel experience to a wider area in the future," said Kerem Sarp, Senior Vice President, Sales, Turkish Airlines at the launch held at A.A. Neto Airport in Pointe Noire.
He further mentioned, "Our conviction is that in the medium and long term, Africa will continue to increase its importance in terms of tourism and trade, and we will continue to invest in the potential of this beautiful continent."
Congo seeks to cut its dependency on oil and has underscored developing the tourism sector as part of its National Development Plan to achieve economic diversification.
For Fidele Dimou, Transport Minister of Congo, the flights will enable his country's businessmen "to explore the Turkish market and vice versa".
With Congo still reeling from the effects of the 2014/15 oil price crisis, evidenced by an IMF intervention earlier this month, the launch is a step of faith by Turkey.