|Key people||Jens Bischof, CEO|
Güneş Ekspress Havacılık A.Ş., doing business as SunExpress, is a Turkish airline based in Antalya. It operates scheduled and chartered passenger flights to various destinations in Europe, Asia and North Africa.
The airline was established in October 1989 and started operations in April 1990 with a charter service between Antalya and Frankfurt. SunExpress was founded as a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and the Lufthansa Group/Condor Flugdienst. In 1995, the Lufthansa Group transferred its SunExpress shares to Condor. All tourist flights operate under a single unit. In February 2007, all Condor shares were retaken by the Lufthansa Group as Condor was acquired by Thomas Cook AG (now Thomas Cook Group).
SunExpress is currently a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and the Lufthansa Group, each owning 50 percent of the airline. With 886 employees the company is the largest employer in Antalya. SunExpress counts 393 employees in Izmir, 299 in Istanbul, 178 in Ankara, 42 in Anatolian cities and 334 in Frankfurt, Germany. The total SunExpress workforce number is 2.132 with other domestic bases.
Operating touristic charter flights between Europe – specifically Germany – and Antalya for a long time, SunExpress became the first private airline company to offer international scheduled flights from Turkey with its first Antalya-Frankfurt flight in 2001.
Increasing its scheduled flights rapidly day-by-day, SunExpress opened its second base in İzmir and started to operate domestic flights in 2006. With this launch, SunExpress became the first airline company to connect İzmir with Anatolian cities with direct flights in Turkey.
The company announced a comprehensive re-branding and product enhancement project by the end of its 20th anniversary, which was celebrated at an event in Antalya on 1 May 2010. At this event SunExpress welcomed its next 20 years with the delivery of the first of six newly purchased Boeing 737-800s and launched its new corporate identity including its new logo, aircraft livery, new corporate colours, uniforms and entire visual identity elements. SunExpress also revealed many brand new features to create extra quality and value for its customers. The launch of SunPoints – SunExpress’ frequent flyer programme – and direct flights between Anatolia and Germany for the first time in Turkey were also the other highlights of 2010 for SunExpress.
SunExpress was given a further boost in 2011 with the foundation of SunExpress Deutschland GmbH. The company started business operations in June 2011. Besides the Turkish destinations on the South Coast, on the Aegean, on the Black Sea and in the East of the country it also serves – with German registration – attractive destinations on the Red Sea and on the Nile in Egypt, Canary Island(Spain) since November 2011. Frankfurt – Hahn and Varna (Bulgaria), Batman, Bremen, Enfidha (Tunisia), Lefkosa and Strasbourg destinations were later added into flight network.
SunExpress decided to invest in its building and SunExpress Plaza was built in June 2012. The new SunExpress building is “environmental friendly” and is located in a natural setting. The architectural theme of the building is transparency and naturalness, therefore each room has been designed so that it has access to natural light and fresh air. Antalya’s famous sun is also a source for clean energy inside the building. The solar panels on the roof generate enough electricity to supply power to all of the computers. SunExpress can therefore do work without harming the environment. On the exterior of the SunExpress building special new “smart” glass panels have been used to allow sun rays to shine inside the building while blocking out unwanted heat to help reduce cooling costs. Antalya’s famous orange, bergamot and lemon trees have been planted in both the interior and exterior gardens.
The building consists of 1 basement and 4 floors which house 250 SunExpress employees in 87 offices. Additionally there are 12 meeting rooms, 10 briefing rooms, 6 training rooms, 1 stationary flight simulator room, 1 general purpose auditorium, various operational rooms, 12 storage rooms and 1 common archive room.
SunExpress is certified according to ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO 10002 (Customer Satisfaction and Complaints Handling) ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and OHSAS 18001 (Health and Safety Assessment). In addition, SunExpress holds an IOSA registration with IATA (High Safety Standards), and its internal processes have been audited by an international system to assess airlines’ organizational processes and management systems. These process-oriented management systems are applied throughout the company and controlled by professional quality management.
SunExpress which has its principal office registered in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera plans next year to go to the starting line with a German daughter: the airline received approval from its board of directors to establish “SunExpress Deutschland GmbH”, which will be located in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt and will commence operations in the summer of 2011 with initially 3 Boeing 737-800’s. An application has been submitted to the German Federal Aviation Administration accordingly.
The German SunExpress will strengthen the existing service offered between Germany and Turkey and will operate the companies’ traditional “home routes” between Frankfurt and Antalya as well as the new nonstop routes between several German cities and 8 aspiring Turkish cities with the best of flight times for vacationers from Germany. For the winter 2011/2012 plans are to expand the fleet with an additional 3 Boeing 737-800 type aircraft to serve tourism routes between Germany and the Red Sea in cooperation with German tour operators.
Market appearance identical with the SunExpress parent company The market appearance and product of the German subsidiary will conform with that of the Turkish parent company, future service and product improvements will be planned and implemented identically for both airline companies. Sales and the commercial organization will be taken on by SunExpress’ existing Sales and Marketing Team located in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt. Executive management of SunExpress Germany GmbH and the accountable representation of the airline for the German Federal Aviation Administration will both be carried out by the SunExpress CEO Paul Schwaiger. SunExpress is working on the required personnel and management structure for the operation during the coming weeks and months, and the company places great importance on good cross cultural cooperation with the parent company in Turkey.
SunExpress serves the following destinations as of April 2017:
As of February 2016, the SunExpress fleet consists of the following aircraft:
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||—||15||TBA|
Further aircraft are operated by SunExpress' German subsidiary SunExpress Deutschland under its own operational license. This includes more Boeing 737-800s as well as the Airbus A330-200s operated for Eurowings.
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "Imprint." SunExpress. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- Company profile Retrieved 17 August 2013
- "Flight Connections Summer 17" (PDF). SunExpress. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "SunExpress schedules German routes from Ordu Giresun in S17". routesonline.com. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- - SunExpress retrieved 22 February 2016
- "SunExpress places order for 50 Boeing aircraft". reuters.com. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- "Boeing Inks New Deal With SunExpress Worth Billions". fool.com. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
Media related to SunExpress at Wikimedia Commons
- SunExpress official website (English)