Interest in Turkey driving air passenger numbers to new heights in 2015

Posted on 08 April 2015

Air travel in Turkey, both domestic and international, continues to surge in 2015, with the country’s national carrier reporting increased traffic and an increased global market share during 2014.

Proof of Turkey’s rising popularity around the world, the number of international flights in and out of the country rose 8.4 per cent year-on-year in March, with passengers totally 4.8 million in the same month. And evidence of the country’s mushrooming middle classes and their increasing social and financial mobility was seen in the 5.7 per cent year-on-year hike in Turkey’s domestic flights in March, accounting for 7.1 million passengers.

Nearly 130,000 planes passed through Turkey’s airport in March, a rise of 9.4 per cent compared with the 117,526 recorded for the same month in 2014. Istanbul’s Ataturk airport remains the country’s busiest and attracted 4.7 million of the total number of air passengers (domestic and international) in March. Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, they city’s air hub on the Asian side, was in second place with two million passengers. Istanbul’s airports accounted for 56 per cent of all domestic and international passengers in March.

During the first three months of 2015, more than 33 million passengers passed through all Turkish airports, a year-on-year increase of 7.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, national carrier Turkish Airlines saw its sales revenue increase by 13 per cent in 2014, reaching a total of $11 billion, while its capacity (ASK) grew 16.3 per cent. This growth rate was significantly above the industry rate of 5.6 per cent for the same period, resulting in a 0.2 per cent rise in the airline’s global market share, namely to 1.8 per cent from 1.6 per cent. Turkish Airlines carried 54.7 million passengers in 2014, representing a 13.3 per cent year-on-year increase and making it the second largest carrier in Europe in terms of passenger numbers.

Flying to more countries than any other airline in the world and inviting its passengers to explore the unknown with its ‘‘Widen Your World’’ motto, today Turkish Airlines flies to 264 destinations in 108 countries. Having one of the youngest airline fleets in the world, Turkish Airlines now operates 263 aircraft comprising 55 wide body, 199 narrow body and nine cargo aircraft.

In 2015, Turkish Airlines plans to increase its capacity by 15 per cent and has a target of 63.2 million passengers, including 26 million on scheduled domestic routes, 36 million on scheduled international routes, with the remainder on charter and hajj flights. By the end of 2015, the fleet size is planned to reach to 293, including 214 narrow-body, 68 wide-body and 11 cargo aircraft. During 2015, Turkish Airlines also plans to add two new domestic and seven new international destinations to its network, bringing the total number of destinations to 273.

Growing sustainably and profitably, Turkish Airlines has tripled its global market share in the last ten years and has been awarded the “Best Airline in Europe” for the last four consecutive years.

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