Why did air traffic to Istanbul increase?

Why did air traffic to Istanbul increase?
Why did air traffic to Istanbul increase?

The aviation industry is on the rise after the pandemic. The Airports Council International (ACI) report on the busiest airports in 2023 also shows this. There are various reasons why Istanbul Airport is at the top in air traffic. The recovery in international traffic has played a key role in the revival and expansion of the sector. Istanbul has also become one of the major centers of attraction for world aviation.

According to ACI’s report on the world’s busiest air traffic, Istanbul Airport ranks in the top 10 in terms of air traffic. However, it should be underlined that 8 of the top 10 airports in the list belong to the USA. Apart from the US, two airports in the top 10 are from Turkey and Japan. Apart from the USA

Istanbul Airport ranks first as the world’s busiest airport with 505,968 aircraft movements and an increase of 18.8 percent, followed by Tokyo Haneda Airport with 464,910 aircraft movements and an increase of 19.8 percent.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jakcson leads

Istanbul Airport ranked 8th in the world in terms of airplane activity in 2023. Aircraft traffic at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport in every respect, was recorded as 775 thousand 818. Chicago Airport ranked second with 720,582 and Dallas Fort Worth Airport ranked third with 689,569.

Figures mixed up during the transition

Istanbul Airport opened on September 29, 2018. During the transition period, there was a preparation period until April 2019. On April 1, 2019, the big move took place and commercial flights at Atatürk Airport were transferred to Istanbul Airport. However, cargo flights and private flights under the umbrella of general aviation continue to operate from Atatürk Airport. For this reason, Istanbul Airport ranked 54th in the world in terms of airplane traffic. In 2023, the airport operated by İGA achieved a 53.4 percent increase in aircraft mobility compared to 2019. In 2022, Istanbul Airport ranked 10th and achieved an increase of 18.8 percent. The current point came to the forefront as 8th place and 505 thousand 968 aircraft traffic.

Brave behavior in the pandemic

During the pandemic, some of the airports in global aviation around the world were closed, some did not operate international flights, and some restricted flights. At that time, Istanbul Airport took health measures quickly and continued its flights to countries whose doors were not closed. In addition to this, when cargo flights gained importance, Turkish Cargo ranked 5th in the world, and important successful operations were carried out by air. Above all, the government’s “Short Work Practice” enabled companies to continue their activities without laying off staff, which was a great advantage after the pandemic.

New airlines expected

Norwegian Air, the flag carrier airline of Norway, started its flights between Oslo and Istanbul Airport during the week. The number of airlines operating flights to Istanbul Airport reached 102. The 100th airline was Air China and the 101st airline was Air Samarkand. Airport authorities continue their efforts to host more airlines. There are no airlines from centers such as the USA, Canada, Japan, South America, Hong Kong, etc. operating flights to Istanbul Airport yet. However, there are talks and plans. Turkish Airlines (THY) is already using approximately 82 percent of Istanbul Airport’s capacity. With new airlines flying to the airport, there will be significant movement in passenger and aircraft traffic and competitive advantages.

Business jet traffic will also increase

Istanbul Airport General Aviation Terminal and parallel general aviation services will be put into operation. Hangar areas will be allocated for business jets. But preparations are being made to offer a different general aviation experience. The general aviation terminal, which will have a special architecture, will offer services in many different categories not only for business jets but also for private passengers traveling by passenger planes. Currently, there are two airlines offering “First Class” service among the airlines flying to Istanbul Airport. The steps to be taken by İGA for upper segment passengers will also be reflected on first class flights. With the General Aviation Terminal and related services coming into operation, traffic will also increase.