Istanbul’s new airport could connect the city to between 150 and 200 new destinations, in addition to those currently served by its existing two airports, when it opens in 2018, according to research by aviation news website Anna.aero.com.
Highlighting the huge benefit that the airport will bring, the news was announced at a conference in Istanbul in December, organized by IGA, the company overseeing the €10.2-billion project.
Other interesting take-aways from the event that illustrate the growth of air travel in Turkey included:
- Since 2009 Turkey has gone from being the sixth largest European air travel market to being the fourth largest.
- In 2009 Turkey’s airport traffic was 39 per cent of the UK figure, in 2015 it is forecast to be 71 per cent. At that rate Turkey could be Europe’s number one air travel market by 2021.
- In 2014 passenger numbers at Turkey’s airports grew by 11.1 per cent, while none of the other five main European air travel market countries managed growth of more than five per cent.
- In 2009, Istanbul Atatürk was the smallest of the seven largest European hubs with 30 million passengers. In 2014 it passed Amsterdam to fourth place, this year it is expected to pass Frankfurt into third, leaving it behind only Paris CDG and London Heathrow in Europe.
- In summer 2015, Turkish Airlines offered more seats from European airports than any other carrier, except Ryanair and easyJet.
- Turkish Airlines’ seat capacity grew faster than that of Ryanair and easyJet between August 2014 and August 2015. Meanwhile, other Turkish carriers such as Pegasus Airlines, SunExpress and Onur Air grew at well above the European average.