According to Hasan Serkan Binyar, general manager of the Lithuanian branch of Turkish Airlines, the presence of well-qualified specialists with Nordic languages skills was an important factor in the company choosing Lithuania. “We decided to open a customer service centre in Vilnius after assessing the advantages of the country’s investment environment, in particular, the competences of the employees available,” says Mr Binyar.
Turkish Airlines is a world leader in aviation, offering flights to 291 airports in 116 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America. In fact, it is the global carrier with the highest number of routes on offer.
The company currently has over 27,000 employees world-wide. Its new Lithuanian team will be responsible for a wide range of functions. They will be working closely with important clients for the company in the Baltic and Nordic regions, particularly travel agencies and local partners. Turkish Airlines will set up a small team in Vilnius at first, with plans to expand their operations in Lithuania further down the line.
“This service centre is both interesting and valuable for Lithuania for two main reasons,” argues Mantas Katinas, general manager of the foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania. “Firstly, Lithuania’s growing aviation cluster is developing a strong reputation internationally, which this move will further enhance. And secondly, the centre will service markets in northern Europe. Lithuania is very well positioned to provide a range of services to Nordic countries, and we believe this trend has lots of potential going forward,” Mr Katinas points out.
In addition to the new centre, Turkish Airlines have already been strengthening Lithuania’s tourism industry directly. The company have organised Baltic Region Workshop in Istanbul, which aimed to increase the number of tour packages Turkish outgoing agents’ offer to the Baltic region.