SunExpress, the joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, boosted revenue 18% to €890 million ($1.22 billion) last year, though passenger numbers fell 13% to about 6.7 million.
Chief executive Paul Schwaiger says 2013 was the “most successful year” in the leisure carrier’s 24-year history.
Passenger volume declined amid cuts to capacity and restructuring of Turkish domestic routes. These helped the airline improve its earnings, it says.
SunExpress reduced capacity outside the main holiday seasons. Load factor was 84%, with the airline conducting just over 44,000 flights.
The carrier achieved a “healthy, profitable” growth pattern while its internal structure was changed to fit a medium-sized airline, says Schwaiger. The SunExpress fleet comprises 63 Boeing 737-700s and -800s.
Apart from operating its own routes, SunExpress has been wet-leasing aircraft to Turkish Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary AnadoluJet for domestic flights within Turkey for about two years.
For the summer 2014 season, SunExpress plans to increase the number of locally based aircraft in Munich and Stuttgart. It will also place aircraft in Hannover and Nuremberg.
New routes are to be added from different German airports to the Greek islands of Crete and Rhodes.