The choice of flights to Istanbul from the UK will get greater in summer 2014, thanks to Istanbul based airline AtlasJet announcing new scheduled flights to London Luton.
Kicking off its UK service, AtlasJet will launch new flights on 2nd May, with a four times weekly service from Istanbul Atatürk to Luton, with each returning flight offering connections to Northern Cyprus. The frequency of this route is expected to be increased to daily from 1st June.
Details of flights between Turkish cities Antalya and Izmir and Luton are expected to be finalised by AtlasJet soon, perhaps involving a transfer at Istanbul Atatürk. Atlasjet’s opting to fly into Luton means it will avoid direct competition in the London-Istanbul market against the existing operations into London Gatwick, London Heathrow and London Stansted. AtlasJet previously introduced flights into Manchester and Stansted, but the operations were short-lived.
Turkish Airlines offers the most flights between the UK and Turkey. Turkey’s national carrier flies from Istanbul Atatürk to Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, and from Istanbul Gokcen to Gatwick. British Airways flies between Istanbul Atatürk and Heathrow, and Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus flies to Stansted from Istanbul Gokcen.
Testament to the increasing interest from Russians in Istanbul and property investment there, on 12th January Atlasjet began flights to its first destination in Russia, namely Naberezhnye Chelny, the second largest city in Tartarstan, west Russia. The service operates twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) from Istanbul Atatürk.