Airlines can't be successful when supported by state aid, claims Temel Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines, which was once a state-run airline. "The state Turkish airline was not a strong company," Kotil admitted. Following its privatisation the airline has become the world's fourth largest in terms of its network, which stretches across 263 destinations. Kotil, speaking at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) in Istanbul, predicted sales of $24bn by 2023, by which time Turkish Airlines plans to fly over 450 aircraft. He put the airline's success down to its connection with the customer, something he believes that governments negatively affect. "I believe there is no chance for state companies to be successful," Kotil said, going on to describe state aid as a poison. "It kills their mind," he claimed.