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Turkish Airlines Expanding Global Mega Hub in Ataturk

Posted on 13 December 2012

According to a new (and very interesting) report from aviation-industry analysis website Anna.Aero, Turkish airlines is successfully turning Istanbul into a global mega [travel] hub, as part of President and CEO, Dr Temel Kotil’s aim of making it the largest airline on earth.

The report goes on to explain the concept is based on a desire to replicate the success of Emirates, but Turkish Airlines has an advantage in the fact that Istanbul is far closer to 100 or so major regional airports in Europe, including Bremen, Bologna, Gothenburg and many more. Another advantage is Turkish’s 160 single aisle 737-7/8/900 and A319/320/321 fleets can fly into many more airports than Emirates’ widebody services, including those listed above and the likes of Tel Aviv, Djibouti, Amman, Mogadishu and Benghazi to the south and east. As a result Istanbul is well placed to become a global hub, in fact Anna Aero asserts, Istanbul might well be about the most efficient place in the world to have an omni-directional Global Mega Hub (GMH).

Anna Aero has leaked figures showing that Istanbul is already operating as a hub, with transfers dominating to many airports around the world. Some 89% of all Turkish Airlines’ flights leaving Istanbul for Dhaka are transfers, Delhi isn’t far behind at 77% followed by Mumbai and Islamabad with 76% and 75% respectively. Lagos, Guangzhou and Beijing are all above 70%. Transfers to Singapore, Toronto, Seoul, Washington, Sao Paulo and Shanghai are all over 60% transfer traffic as well.

In order to keep its Istanbul Atatürkhub growing Turkish Airlines needs to keep adding more routes at the rate it has been doing in the last few years. In the last week it has added new routes to Kilimanjaro and Mombasa, in the last 6 months routes to Denmark, Azerbajan and Africa (the Congo and Kigali), and it has a further 5 routes to add before the year ends. It certainly is exciting to watch – is that sad? Answers in the comments please – be kind.

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