Mehmet Bostan: Tailwind Airlines has been operating mainly touristic charter flights until today after obtaining its operating license in 2009. The majority of our customers are tour operators who bring tourists from Europe to our country during the summer and the travel season for this customer group lasts about 7.5 months.
Mehmet Bostan: As I mention in my previous response, due to the length of the summer travel season we need to conduct other businesses during the 4.5-5 months aside from the summer season. ACMI-Wet Lease service comes first in these other activities. This service is the periodic leasing of our aircraft with its crew to foreign airlines that require high capacity aircraft especially during the winter. In such collaborations which have a lower turnover, our objective is to cover some of our fixed costs incurred during these winter months.
Mehmet Bostan: Tailwind Airlines does not consider making any changes in its plan regarding charters and ACMI activities in the short and medium term. Last year we decided to renew our fleet. There is no deviation from this decision; the recent developments have caused a delay in this plan. With our increasing number of aircraft and renewed fleet, our aim is to become a more competitive charter airline and ACMI operator in the upcoming period.
Mehmet Bostan: As I also mentioned in my answer to your previous question, there is only a delay in our plans, no other changes have been made. Most of our flights have been conducted from Europe since our foundation, but in recent years our country has increasingly become a center of attraction for the citizens of eastern countries. We aim to increase our flights especially during the winter period by creating a balanced distribution of customers in both directions.
Mehmet Bostan: Charter airlines are often utilized by companies during difficult times. In this extraordinarily difficult period, we have brought together, via tour operators or various intermediary companies, the citizens of various countries who were stranded abroad due to the suspension of scheduled flights and who wanted to return to their country. We transported them to their home countries with our team providing devoted support, and this effort continues. In this way, we help people to reach their homes and at the same time we boost employee morale by not suspending our operations completely and also achieve a small amount of cash flow.
Mehmet Bostan: In addition to the measures required by legal regulations, we follow the policy to reserve toilets for passenger use and those for the crew only on our aircraft. Our flight attendants use masks and gloves throughout the flight. Also, we recently started to use protective clothing. For short-haul flights, food and beverage service was ceased except for bottled water in order to limit contact with the passenger. Additionally, we have a sufficient number of masks on our aircraft to be used by all passengers when necessary. In-flight magazines were also removed to limit the risk of contamination. At the end of all flights with passengers, our aircraft are disinfected against the Covid-19 virus.
Mehmet Bostan: We continue our preparations with the assumption that the flights will resume in line with the planned schedule as of July. Although the government has recently forbidden businesses to lay off workers under the current situation, we have previously made our decision in this direction, so we have no intention to surrender any of our employees. However, in this process, we strain to make maximum use of the opportunities provided by our state. To this end, we have applied for the Short-Term Working Allowance for our employees.
Mehmet Bostan: We do not expect to return to normal in the middle of summer, as if nothing has happened. But, as we have a customer portfolio that places great importance on vacation programs, we do not expect them to spend summer at home this year. If the negative impacts of the outbreak really weaken and become tolerable, we believe we can compensate for the losses we suffer, not in 2020 alone, but into 2021as well.
Mehmet Bostan: As we all know, aviation, with its high costs, is one of the industries that is affected first and foremost under negative circumstances. However, Covid-19 reminds us that the most important thing in our life is “health”. I believe that this process can be overcome by unity and solidarity; we have to follow the warnings of experts to stay healthy. I wish everyone good health and I hope that our lives will return to normal soon