The Turkish-German airline SunExpress is eyeing new routes to the UK and Ireland during the summer 2022 season as it seeks to expand its international footprint.

The UK was the second largest overseas market from Turkey during 2019, Sabre Market Intelligence data shows, with traffic amounting to some 5.2m two-way passengers. Only Germany was bigger, with 14.8m passengers.

SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, began serving Luton from Izmir in 2015. By the summer 2019 season, the carrier’s operations at the north London airport had swelled to four routes, with flights to Ankara Esenboga, Antalya and Bodrum Milas.

Wilken Bellmann, Head of Network Planning and Scheduling at SunExpress, told Routes that the carrier therefore sees huge potential to make further inroads into the UK and Ireland and work with new airport partners.

“We have identified this market as a great strategic fit for our network,” he said. “According to our data, it is the third biggest market to the destinations we are serving in Turkey after Germany and Russia."