Turkey’s airports report traffic growth of 10.4% in first half of 2012; Turkish Airlines expanding IST network rapidly

Here's a sobering thought: OAG shows Turkish Airlines serving 183 destinations from its Istanbul Ataturk hub in August, making it the most connected single base of any airline in Europe! THY has added 20 new routes in the past year including Novosibirsk in Siberia in March - its eighth Russian destination from Istanbul.

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.

Top 12 Turkish airports 2012 H1 Passenger numbers January to June in millions  (Comparison with 2011 H1)

Source: DHMI

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).


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