Turkish Airlines lowered its revenue guidance for 2019 in the face of decreasing demand and other factors that have hampered operations.

The Istanbul-based carrier said Sept. 4 it now anticipates $13.4 billion in consolidated sales revenue for the year, down from January guidance of $14.1 billion.

The airline expects to carry 76 million passengers—31 million domestic and 45 million international—in 2019. Previous guidance forecast 80 million passengers—33 million and 47 million international.

In August, Turkish Airlines reported second-quarter net income of $26 million, down 79.5% from $127 million in the year-ago period. The flag carrier attributed the profit decline to decreasing domestic demand, the move to the new Istanbul Airport, the Boeing 737 MAX grounding and delays in Airbus A320neo deliveries. The move to the new airport in the first weeks of the second quarter caused numerous flight cancellations.

In August, passenger numbers declined 2.2%.

In 2019, the carrier expects a load factor of 81%-82%, the same as 2018. Capacity, measured in ASKs, is forecast to rise 4% compared to 2018. Previous guidance projected ASKs to grow 7%-8% to about 195 billion.

CASK-ex fuel is expected to rise 7%-9% for the year, compared to earlier guidance of a 3%-5% increase.

Turkish Airlines operates to 315 destinations in 126 countries with a fleet of more than 340 aircraft. In 2018 it carried 75.2 million passengers.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at