Temel Kotil, the CEO of Turkish Airlines has just resigned from his position, one he has held since April 2005. According to the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency, as reported by Reuters, Kotil has accepted a new role in the aerospace industry. Hurriyet Daily News independently reported that Kotil was endorsed as the new head of Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
The airline did not formally acknowledge that Kotil has left, but said that the situation will be discussed at a board meeting later. In his farewell message, allegedly sent to company employees, Kotil said:
I have taken the decision to leave Turkish Airlines as I have been offered a new post related to aerospace and space technologies.
Turkish Airlines is expanding rapidly, and have been growing both in number of destinations and passengers carried. However, the airline saw a US$647 million loss in the first 6 months of 2016. Since the military coup attempt in July 15 of this year, the country has been dealing with a bit of instability. The airline, which flies to over 100 countries—the most in the world—had to drastically reduced international services in late August. Just for US routes alone, they removed a daily flight on the New York – Istanbul route. They also reduced 2 weekly flights to Atlanta, and 4 weekly flights from Los Angeles.
There is of course a multitude of reasons of why Kotil may have left the airline, and I think we will find out more in the following weeks. In the mean time, Ucuyoruzz.com reports (website in Turkish) that Kotil’s position at Turkish will likely be filled by Bilal Sour, the current Director General of Civil Aviation in Turkey.