ISTANBUL, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Turkish Airlines today announced that legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant has been named a global brand ambassador for the airline for the next two years. Turkish Airlines, the fourth biggest network carrier in Europe, has rapidly expanded its U.S. presence in recent years and will be launching its first non-stop flight from the West Coast. The airline will offer four flights per week from Los Angeles' LAX Airport to Ataturk Airport in Istanbul beginning March 3, 2011.
A global advertising campaign featuring Mr. Bryant is planned for 2011. The first television advertisements with Mr. Bryant are slated to run in the U.S. and the Middle East in the first quarter of 2011, after which it will be broadcast globally to more than 80 countries. In addition to the U.S., the campaign will focus on the Middle East and the Far East where the basketball player has a large fan base. The campaign also will include billboards, print and online components.
Mr. Bryant is scheduled to make several appearances on behalf of Turkish Airlines in the coming year, including for the planned Los Angeles launch.
"I'm so proud to be chosen as a global brand ambassador for Turkish Airlines. They have been providing travelers with excellent service for 77 years, and I'm glad that U.S. travelers, including my fellow Angelenos, are able to experience Turkish Airlines first-hand," said Mr. Bryant. "Turkey is a country rich in natural beauty and thousands of years of cultural history, and I'm proud to partner with Turkish Airlines to bring that majesty to people around the world."
"We are looking forward to working with Mr. Bryant to further build awareness of Turkish Airlines in the United States and around the world," said Dr. Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines. "Next year Turkish Airlines will operate four U.S. gateways: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. We could not be more thrilled to have an athlete of Mr. Bryant's unsurpassed skill and recognition to represent our brand globally."
Mr. Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career. He has twice been the scoring champion of the NBA and was part of the gold medal winning U.S.A. Basketball Men's National Team at the 2008 Olympics. Mr. Bryant ranked number fourteen on Forbes Magazine's "Celebrity 100," which lists the world's richest and most powerful celebrities.
A member of the Star Alliance network since April 1, 2008, Turkish Airlines continues to maintain its dedication to becoming a global leader in the airline industry. Turkish Airlines currently flies to 167 destinations, including 128 international and 39 domestic lines. In the Americas, Turkish Airlines currently offers non-stop direct flights from New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Toronto and São Paulo.
Established in 1933, Turkish Airlines is known for its impeccable service, flight safety and connectivity worldwide. The airline has its global headquarters in Istanbul, a gateway between east and west that allows visitors an unrivaled glimpse into world history, the chance to experience one of Eurasia's most cosmopolitan destinations and a hub for travel to other cities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Passengers aboard Turkish Airlines enjoy the world-renowned catering by Turkish Do&Co, featuring an assortment of international cuisines as well as authentic Turkish dishes. A pioneer in the aviation industry, Turkish Airlines recently won the SkyTrax World Aviation Award, also known as the "Oscar of the Aviation Industry," for the "World's Best Economy Class Onboard Catering."
About Turkish Airlines:
Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines is today a four star airline company with a fleet of 152 aircraft flying to 167 destinations around the world, comprising 39 domestic and 128 international destinations. Visit www.turkishairlines.com for more information.
About Star Alliance:
Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance network, established in 1997. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 destinations in 181 countries.
SOURCE Turkish Airlines