The latest government statistics show that Turkey’s airports handled over 57 million passengers in the first half of 2012, representing growth of 10.4% on the same period in 2011. Maybe, surprisingly, the country’s fastest-growing airport is also the biggest airport, Istanbul Atatürk, which saw passenger numbers soar by 22% as Turkish Airlines continues to unleash new routes at an impressive rate. The two airports serving Istanbul handled a total of 27.35 million passengers between January and June representing a full 48% of all Turkish airport activity.
Since June 2011, Turkish Airlines has started over 20 new routes from Istanbul Atatürk to various destinations, as summarised in the following table:
|Launch date||Destination||Country||WF* (aircraft type)|
|8 June 2011||Genoa (GOA)||Italy||4 (A319)|
|28 June 2011||Basra (BSR)||Iraq||3 (eqv)|
|28 June 2011||Naples (NAP)||Italy||5 (A319|
|5 July 2011||Najaf (NJF)||Iraq||3 (B738)|
|10 July 2011||Kabul (KBL)||Afghanistan||3 (B738)|
|18 July 2011||Sulaymaniyah (ISU)||Iraq||4 (A321)|
|21 July 2011||Islamabad (ISB)||Pakistan||3 (B738)|
|2 August 2011||Turin (TRN)||Italy||3 (A319)|
|17 October 2011||Dammam (DMM)||Saudi Arabia||3 (A319)|
|3 November 2011||Mosul (OSM)||Iraq||4 (B738)|
|15 December 2011||Misrata (MRA)||Libya||4 (B738)|
|20 December 2011||London Gatwick (LGW)||UK||7 (A321)|
|6 March 2012||Mogadishu (MGQ) [via Khartoum]||Somalia||2 (B738)|
|14 March 2012||Novosibirsk (OVB)||Russia||3 (B738)|
|26 April 2012||Bremen (BRE)||Germany||4 (A320)|
|16 May 2012||Kigali (KGL)||Rwanda||3 (B738)|
|28 May 2012||Bilbao (BIO)||Spain||4 (A319)|
|28 May 2012||Leipzig (LEJ)||Germany||4 (A320)|
|11 June 2012||Yanbu (YNB)||Saudi Arabia||3 (B738)|
|20 June 2012||Taif (TIF)||Saudi Arabia||3 (A320)|
|2 July 2012||Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia)**||Mongolia||3 (A320)|
|4 July 2012||Abidjan (ABJ)||Cote D’Ivoire||4 (B739ER)|
|9 July 2012||Aalborg (AAL) [return via Billund]||Denmark||3 (A319)|
|9 July 2012||Billund (BLL) [outbound via Aalborg]||Denmark||3 (A319)|
|26 July 2012||Edinburgh (EDI)||UK||4 (A319)|
|18 July 2012||Osh (OSS)||Kyrgyzstan||3 (A319)|
|31 July 2012||Gyandzha (KVD) [outbound via Nakhichevan]||Azerbaijan||3 (A319)|
|2 August 2012||Nakhichevan (NAJ) [return via Gyandzha]||Azerbaijan||3 (A319)|
|Source: anna.aero new route database *Weekly frequency when launched **with technical stop in Bishkek|
Before the end of the year Turkish Airlines has announced plans to start services from Istanbul Atatürk to Kinshasa (27 August), Sebha (2 September), Sharm El-Sheikh (9 October), Kharkiv (28 October) and Malé (24 November), with Houston services slated to start in 2013. In addition, the airline has also launched a number of new services in 2012 from Ankara and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen.
According to OAG schedule data for the beginning of August, Turkish Airlines will be serving 183 destinations non-stop from its Istanbul Ataturk base, making it the most connected single base of any airline in Europe.
Other route launches in the Turkish market
New routes launched by other carriers at Turkish airports in 2012, or planned to start before the end of the year include the following:
- Istanbul (IST): Air France to Toulouse (3 April), Atlasjet to London Stansted (6 May), Lufthansa to Berlin Tegel (4 June), and United to New York Newark (1 July).
- Istanbul (SAW): Air One to Venice (15 June), Atlasjet to Bodrum and Dalaman (both 15 June), Azerbaijan Airlines to Baku (10 May), Pegasus to Almaty (23 January), Bologna (2 August), Omsk (21 June), Sanliurfa (2 April) and Tel Aviv (18 June), RusLine to Nalchik (19 February), Syphax Airlines to Sfax (19 May), Transavia.com to Eindhoven (17 February).
- Ankara (ESB): Anadolujet to Igdir (13 July) and Moscow Vnukovo (25 March), Lufthansa to Frankfurt (25 March), Mahan Air to Tehran (14 June).