TURKISH AD HOC cargo carrier Star Airways is preparing to enter the passenger business in June according to Jaime Baldwin, Star Airways' deputy general manager for legal and regulatory affairs.

Initial operations will provide inclusive-tour charters from Europe to Turkey and Northern Cyprus, using yet-to-be specified narrow-bodies, probably leased Boeing 757s. The privately owned carrier now flies a single Ilyushin Il-76.

By the fourth quarter of this year, the airline wants to shift to long-haul scheduled operations with Boeing 747s, but has yet to receive traffic rights. The first two routes targeted are Istanbul-Johannesburg and Istanbul-Bangkok-Shanghai.

Star makes regular cargo flights carrying military equipment to Bosnia for a US contractor, and flowers between Antalya, Turkey, and London Stansted, however. Most flights are one-off s.

Source: Flight International