Istanbul New Airport could help generate over 200 new routes when it opens in 2018; anna.aero reveals over 150 possible new destinations

December 8-10, Istanbul Congress Center: İGA – the company building the €10.2 billion Istanbul New Airport – hosted ACI Airport Exchange, staged jointly by ACI EUROPE and ACI Asia-Pacific. Turkish Airlines, İGA’s dominant future customer, sent its chairman, CEO and CCO, while the new airport itself fielded presentations from its leading shareholders, CEO, COO and over 10 senior executives. Other star appearances included the recently re-appointed transport minister for whom the new airport was a brainchild in 2013. Photos: Gregory Dziedzic

There were a record 1,800 visitors to ACI Airport Exchange to see the 100+ exhibitors and attend the special briefing on the most important new airport in the world provided through “The 1st Istanbul New Airport Development Conference.” The whole event is due to be staged again in November 2016, this time with “The High Patronage of DHMI,” sovereign landlord of all 55 Turkish airports including Istanbul New Airport. Photos: Gregory Dziedzic

anna.aero’s Chief Analyst, Ralph Anker, reveals 150-200 routes at “The 1st Istanbul New Airport Development Conference” at week’s ACI Airport Exchange Istanbul. Despite Istanbul’s existing main airport already being connected non-stop to over 250 destinations worldwide, Anker named a further 150-200 potential destinations that could become viable when the uncongested airport becomes a reality.

anna.aero’s Chief Analyst, Ralph Anker, reveals 150-200 routes at “The 1st Istanbul New Airport Development Conference” at last week’s ACI Airport Exchange Istanbul. Despite Istanbul’s existing main airport already being connected non-stop to over 250 destinations worldwide, Anker named a further 150-200 potential destinations that could become viable when the uncongested airport becomes a reality.

At last week’s ACI Airport Exchange in Istanbul, anna.aero’s Chief Analyst Ralph Anker gave a presentation at “The 1st Istanbul New Airport Development Conference.” that revealed over 150 possible new destinations that could be served when the uncongested Istanbul New Airport opens in 2018. Here we present the main slides from Anker’s presentation, with some bullet points to explain some of the key facts.

Source: ADV, Aena, Assaeroporti, DHMI, UAF, UK CAA.

Source: ADV, Aena, Assaeroporti, DHMI, UAF, UK CAA.

  • Since 2009 Turkey has gone from being the sixth largest European air travel market to being the fourth largest.
  • In 2013 it passed Italy to move into fifth place.
  • In 2014 it passed France to move into fourth place.
  • In 2009 Turkey’s airport traffic was 39% of the UK figure, in 2015 it is forecast to be 71%. At that rate Turkey could be Europe’s number one air travel market by 2021.
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Source: Various.

  • In 2014 passenger numbers at Turkey’s airports grew by 11.1% (shown in red).
  • All the other country markets with faster growth rates were much smaller.
  • None of the other five main European air travel market countries (shown in dark green) managed growth of more than 5%.
Source: ADP, Aena, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Assaeroporti, DHMI, Dubai Airports, Fraport, UK CAA.

Source: ADP, Aena, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Assaeroporti, DHMI, Dubai Airports, Fraport, UK CAA.

  • Of the seven major European hubs examined, Istanbul Atatürk was the smallest in 2009 with 30 million passengers.
  • In 2011 it caught Rome Fiumicino, in 2012 it caught Madrid, in 2014 it passed Amsterdam and this year it is expected to pass Frankfurt. That leaves it behind only Paris CDG and London Heathrow in Europe.
  • Dubai has also grown rapidly during the same period. It will overtake London Heathrow this year for annual passengers and passed Heathrow last year to become the world’s busiest airport for international services.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for the first week of August in each year.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for the first week of August in each year.

  • The number of destinations served non-stop each year since 2009 by various European hubs (plus Atlanta and Dubai) was analysed.
  • Most have seen only a modest increase (or even a decline in the case of Atlanta).
  • Dubai has increased its network from 150 destinations to just over 200.
  • Istanbul Atatürk has grown its network from 160 destinations to 256, the same as Paris CDG and now just 20 behind Frankfurt.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for the whole year.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for the whole year.

  • The average aircraft size (seats per movement) was calculated across the same seven airports for each year since 2009.
  • The overall trend is up, with most airports reporting a slight increase in average aircraft size each year.
  • Istanbul Atatürk’s average aircraft size has followed a very similar trend to that at Frankfurt and Paris CDG.
  • Dubai has the highest number of seats per movement, strongly influenced by Emirates’ all wide-body fleet of aircraft, and in particular its ever-growing number of A380s.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for August 2014 and August 2015.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for August 2014 and August 2015.

  • This summer, 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.
  • Other Turkish carriers such as Pegasus Airlines, SunExpress and Onur Air grew at well above the European average.
Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database, OAG Schedules Analyser.

Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database, OAG Schedules Analyser.

  • Turkish Airlines has added many new destinations in the last two years, not just from Istanbul Atatürk but also from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen.
  • The majority of these new routes are international.

Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database

  • The Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) carriers of Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have also grown their global networks significantly in the last couple of years.
  • Emirates (this week) and Qatar Airways have both launched direct service to Istanbul’s second airport.
Source: Turkish Airlines.

Source: Turkish Airlines.

  • Turkish Airlines’ most recent (2015 Q3) presentation listed 25 destinations that were high on the airline’s wish list of future routes.
  • Some of these have already been launched while others have been announced with launch dates.
  • Only one of the new destinations is in Asia, while nine are in Africa.
  • On the following slides these 25 destinations will be shown in red if they are included in a list.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

  • Based on current schedule data there are 20 destinations served from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen that are not served from Istanbul Atatürk.
  • Six of these are to secondary airports serving major cities, such as those serving Berlin, Brussels, London, Milan, Moscow and Paris.
  • A further five are to domestic destinations in Turkey.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

  • This list of over 50 destinations are those served by Emirates, Etihad Airways or Qatar Airways non-stop from their hubs, but which are not served non-stop from Istanbul Atatürk.
  • India alone accounts for 12 of the destinations, Pakistan a further four.
  • Five of the destinations are on Turkish Airlines’ most recent wish list.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

  • While Emirates is a major presence in Dubai, LCC flydubai and other carriers also offer additional destinations from the UAE hub.
  • This list of 40 destinations includes five in Iran and four in each of India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Only two of them are on Turkish Airlines’ most recent wish list.
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser for w/c 8 December 2015.

  • Since Frankfurt is currently the European champion for destinations served, we examined which routes from the German airport, operated at least twice-weekly, were not served from Istanbul Atatürk, and had not already appeared on one of the previous lists.
  • This list of 53 airports includes eight in Poland, six in the US, five in Spain, and three each in China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy and the UK.
  • Six of them are on Turkish Airlines’ most recent wish list.

These last four slides combined produce a list of over 150 destinations not currently served non-stop from Istanbul Atatürk, but which arguably could be viable, subject to bilateral agreements, and the selection of the right aircraft. Of the 25 destinations highlighted by Turkish Airlines, 16 are included in this list of possible new destinations. The remaining nine destinations are routes that Turkish Airlines has identified as being viable, that are not currently served from Sabiha Gökçen, Abu Dhabi, Doha or Dubai, or even Frankfurt.

Given that for every two destinations that Turkish Airlines has identified as possible new routes that are on our list of 150-plus, there is one that is not on our list, this suggests that that there could be well over 200 further new routes that could be explored once the uncongested Istanbul New Airport opens in 2018.

 


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