Turkish Air Traffic Growing throughout 09, Accelerating in Second Half

Posted on 22 November 2009

The Turkish airline industry has continued to see significant growth this year, with growth in traffic at all Turkey‘s main airports. New reports from several organisations and individual airports point to growth in both domestic and international traffic through Turkish airports this year – of up to 40% in some cases.

Firstly the most impressive growth is in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen, with traffic up 41% so far this year. This is based on a 50% growth in Domestic traffic, and a 20% growth in international traffic. Sabiha Gökçen is now the fourth busiest airport in the country and is likely to overtake Izmir in 2010, especially as it recently opened its New International Terminal.

IstanbulAtaturk airport is also doing well, with a 3% growth in international traffic in the first half of the year. According to the report this is because of new international routes started by Turkish Airlines, to Benghazi (Libya), Gothenburg (Sweden), Mashad (Iran), Nairobi (Kenya), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Toronto (Canada) and Ufa (Russia), and more. Domestic traffic fell 3% at Istanbul Ataturk.

This growth continued in subsequent months, and by the end of October international traffic through Istanbul Ataturk was up 6.6%.

Country-wide traffic increased by 4% in the first half of the year, with passenger numbers growing at 11 of the country’s top 12 airports in the second quarter. This was based on a 10% growth in domestic traffic, with international traffic down just 3%.

This growth has accelerated in the second half of the year. According to DHMI traffic to Turkish airports increased by 14% in September, and by 10% in October, including a significant growth in international traffic. Country-wide traffic for the 10 months ending October was up 5.2%, on an 11.9% increase in domestic traffic, and a 0.1% increase in international traffic. The latter a significant turnaround from the 3% contraction in the first half of the year.

The increasing traffic to Turkey’s airports backs up recent reports from the World Tourism Organisation and the Turkish tourism ministry, of rising tourism to Turkey in the first half, and first three quarters of 2009.

Europe wide airport traffic has been increasing in recent months. Analysis of schedule data provided by the world’s airlines to OAG reveals that seat capacity at Europe’s over 600 airports at the beginning of the winter season is down just 2% versus the same period last year.

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