Istanbul flying high as one of the world’s busiest air hubs

Turkey is now home to the eleventh busiest airport in the world, according to new statistics by the Airports Council International (ACI).

The ACI’s preliminary passenger traffic results for the most-travelled airports in 2015 show that Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport has got busier, moving to 11th position from 13th the year before. This indicates continued interest in Istanbul as an international hub for business and real estate, and will be welcome news for foreign investors in the city’s bullish property market.

A staggering 61,836,781 passengers travelled through Turkey’s most important airport last year, more than Frankfurt, Shanghai, Amsterdam, New York JFK and Singapore, to name a few. This figure represents an encouraging 9.2 per cent year-on-year increase. Only two other airports in the top ten achieved higher growth, namely third placed Dubai (10.7 per cent) and fourth placed Chicago (9.8 per cent).

Crunching the numbers further, Ataturk Airport is the world’s 10th busiest airport in terms of international traffic, attracting 42,302,859 foreign passengers in 2015. Again, this figure represents strong year-on-year growth of 11.1 per cent, with only two airports in the top ten beating this, namely ninth-placed Bangkok (16.3 per cent) and first placed Dubai (10.7 per cent).

“It’s impressive to witness the dynamic character of the aviation industry and its evolution over time,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimizing their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport. We continue to observe double-digit growth rates at major Middle Eastern and Asian hubs serving long haul routes in emerging markets. With the continued rise in per-capita income and liberalization of air transport across these markets, the propensity to travel by air will rise accordingly.”

Meanwhile, construction of Istanbul's future mega-airport is making progress, with completion expected by February 2018. According to reports in the Turkish press, by 2035, the new airport should serve 260 million passengers annually, making it the world’s busiest airport.

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