Seabird Airlines is the only airline in Turkey which is equipped with sea planes capable of landin and taking off from sea and air strips. Seabird Airlines has been established in 2010 by Kürşad Arusan (Founder and Chairman of the Board) and gained necessary permits from Turkish Civil Aviation Authority (SHGM) recently.
Sea Bird Airways carried out their first test flight between Alacati-Istanbul in June 2012 and is Turkey’s first and only Air Taxi / Airline company to land and take off from water.
The airline flies from Halic Istanbul to destinations like Bozcaada, Gemlik (Bursa), Alacati (Izmir) and Bodrum. Starting from January 2nd 2014, Seabird Airlines also offers flights from Halic to Kocaeli. The flight will take 22 minutes.
According to Seabird Airlines although Kocaeli is right next to Istanbul, because of the traffic the travel time from European side of Istanbul and Kocaeli is quite long.
Although the airline’s flights were quite popular, they had some problems on their journey in Turkish aviation history. Seabird Airlines has started with one plane which meant that if there was a technical problem with the plane there were no flights (no other airline in Turkey has the same type of plane to temporarily rent).
But now they have 2 planes and a third is on its way so these problems would probably be a matter of the past.
The airline operates DHC-6 Twin Otter, a Canadian 19-passenger STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) utility aircraft, powered by Pratt&Whitney PT6-27 turboprop engines. These planes are capable of landing and taking off from sea and conventional runways. One of the most exiting experience of these flights are their low altitude which allows you to have a close-up view of Turkey which is quite impossible to have with a high flying jet airliner. With low altitude flights, the airline offers a great bird-eye view of Turkey’s coastline with relatively affordable prices. The planes take off and land from the coast and allows passengers to save on time which would be wasted to go to an airport and clear all those security check queues.
Other than scheduled flights, Seabird Airlines also allow you to charter sea planes for group travel. With planes of 19 passangers, you can individually or with a group charter a flight from the airline and fly without restrictions of time and destination. The airline also offers an exiting Istanbul Sightseeing tour from air.