Turkish Airlines ensures halal compliance to better cater to Muslim passengers
The Muslim travel market has opened up various opportunities for destinations around the world. As the ones connecting these international travellers from one place to another, airlines play an essential role in ensuring Muslim travellers experience a seamless journey to their desired destinations.
Hamza Arslan, Country Director of Turkish Airlines (Malaysia), opined that the World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC) 2022 was a good platform that brought the subject of the Muslim travel market into the discussions, especially after the pandemic.
“The Muslim travel market is one of the largest entities in the world, as a travel segment. As known to many, the whole Muslim population is estimated to stand at approximately two billion. So, it is a market that even non-Muslim countries or tourism boards have focused on for the last few years,” said Arslan.
“Turkish Airlines is based in Istanbul, Turkiye, a Muslim-majority country. But it has also been the cradle of civilisation for the last few thousand years, hosting various civilisations, religions, races and entities. So, we naturally tolerate differences in cultures, languages, beliefs, etc.
“At Turkish Airlines, we are positioned as a connectivity player with the largest airline network in the world. We bring together East with West and North with South. We facilitate the needs of Muslim travellers, for example, from Malaysia to Turkiye or all around the world.”
Flying at ease
Like other travellers, Muslims may travel for business or leisure purposes. Regardless of their visit’s purpose, most Muslims’ primary concern is the availability of halal food during their travel. Having halal food readily available is a plus point for any destination to attract Muslim travellers.
According to Hamza, at Turkish Airlines, passengers do not have to worry about the halal status of food served on the flight or at the airport. All ingredients used by the airlines are halal certified.
“We provide halal products on board. We serve halal food to our passengers, which is the primary concern of Muslim travellers when they fly with different airlines which are not their national carriers.
“Turkiye is naturally a Muslim-friendly country. The majority of the people there are Muslims. The country provides 24 hours, 12 months a year, Muslim required needs, from food, travel to praying, either in or outside the cities.”
Hamza said mosques were everywhere in Turkiye, making it easy for Muslim travellers to pray. Turkish people are naturally welcoming and great hosts to different cultures and religions. He emphasised that a welcoming environment was crucial for foreigners travelling across the country.
Sharing knowledge with other stakeholders
Regarding its collaborations with other stakeholders, Hamza stated that Turkish Airlines had collaborated with Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) and Tourism Malaysia.
“We have special agreements and collaborations with both entities. For other global destinations, we are also promoting with different stakeholders like government tourism boards, etc.
“Many European and different countries are very intrigued by the Muslim travel market, and they would like to know more, prepare more and welcome more Muslim tourists and travellers. Turkish Airlines share our expertise with them, covering almost the entire world with our vast network. We try to implement tourism, corporate and different activities with all stakeholders, specifically Muslim travellers.
“As we already provide this seamless travel experience, we try our best to pass it on to the destination service providers for them to provide the best services similarly.”