Istanbul Ataturk on course to becoming Europe’s third busiest airport?

Istanbul Ataturk is now ranked the world’s 18th busiest airport, after experiencing a 13.6 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of passengers that passed through during 2013.

Statistics from the Airports Council International (ACI) also showed that Istanbul Ataturk is now the fifth busiest airport in Europe, carrying just under 51.2 million passengers in 2013, behind Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and London.

Meanwhile, ACI statistics show that Istanbul’s leading airport is set to rise further up the rankings during 2014 and could become Europe’s third busiest airport. Passenger numbers there were higher than in both Frankfurt and Amsterdam in the first quarter of the year, thanks to a year-on-year increase of 11 per cent. The airport, west of istanbul_park”>Istanbul on the European side of the Bosporus, is benefiting as nationa carrier Turkish Airlines piles on capacity to tap local growth and build a long-haul transfer base.

Said ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne: “Aviation’s nucleus appears to be moving eastward. With double-digit growth rates in passenger traffic for 2013, Dubai is solidifying its status as the major hub connecting the east and west. Other emerging markets such as turkey_national_football_team”>Turkey, China and South East Asia that have a critical mass of traffic also remain major contributors to the upward surge in air transport demand. This trend will continue into 2014.”

As further proof of Turkey’s rising international prominence and encouraging news for owners of property in Istanbul, a handful of new routes to the city are launching this year. In June Pegasus Airlines will start a Geneva service to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen, where Air Malta has re-introduced its thrice-weekly service from Malta.