Turkish Airlines is adding Vancouver to its Canadian routes as part of its global route expansion.


News of the Istanbul-Vancouver flights was first tweeted by Turkish Air News.  Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier currently operates many weekly flights out of Toronto and Montreal.

Silk Road Today - Turkish Airlines to Offer Direct Service to Vancouver from Istanbul in Mid-2020

Turkish Airlines – YVR-IST Tweet

Turkish Consul General Taylan Tomak reiterated news of the Vancouver route at the 96th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic Turkey reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver this evening.

“We are working diligently to establish direct flights from Istanbul to Vancouver, starting mid-2020.  If we arrive…, direct flights will have a tremendous boost and effect on our economy, culture and tourism,” says Tomak who recently took over as the new consul general, replacing Anil Bora Inan.

The good news received roaring applause from the audience.  Four years ago the Vancouver Turkish Canadian Society launched a petition urging Turkish Airlines to open up a direct Vancouver-Istanbul route.  The petition gathered 1,500 signatures on Change.org.

Related: Turkey: Why the Legendary Nation is an Important Actor on the Silk Road

“I am so excited about the news of the new direct flights from Istanbul to Vancouver, if it happens,” says Deputy Mayor Pete Fry from the City of Vancouver.  “I think that’s such a fantastic opportunity to bridge cultures and open up new opportunities in trade, sharing experiences and tourism.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing that come to fruition.”

Silk Road Today - Turkish Airlines to Offer Direct Service to Vancouver from Istanbul in Mid-2020

Bilateral trade in goods between Turkey and Canada is around 3.2 billion dollars, says Tomek. He adds that the establishment of the Turkish Consulate in B.C. saw Turkey’s trade exchange with B.C. doubled to 300 million dollars. (Nikao Media)

Trade Opportunities

Tomak acknowledged Inan, his predecessor for his excellent work in establishing the first Turkish consulate in British Columbia (B.C.) and his valuable contribution in developing bilateral relations.   In his tenure, he says he will further develop the bilateral relations between Turkey and the Canadian Pacific Coast.

Turkey is the world’s 17th largest economy with a population of around 81.5 million people.  In June 2019, Canada and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).  The goal is to increase bilateral trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

Niche opportunities exist for Canadian investors in Turkey cited the Embassy of Canada to Turkey. The greatest potentials are in the energy, information and communication technologies, mining, education and infrastructure sectors.