Time for ‘Ryanair Turkey’? 250+ unserved routes to Europe, excl. Istanbul, with avg. 11,000 passengers

Time for ‘Ryanair Turkey’ 250+ unserved routes to Europe – excl. Istanbul – with avg. 11,000 passengers

Over 7.5 million flew indirectly from across Turkey to Europe last year, for PDEW of over 10,000. 

This is despite strong growth in point-to-point routes between them.

A good amount of these 7.5 million were tourist-driven, but also ethnic and VFR, the latter especially to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, and the UK.

These countries have over seven million Turks, especially Germany.  A lot of these come from Central and Eastern Turkey.

Of course, these 7.5+ million mainly travelled with Turkish Airlines and Pegasus via Istanbul Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen.

Time for ‘Ryanair Turkey’ 250+ unserved routes to Europe – excl. Istanbul – with avg. 11,000 passengers (2)

SunExpress is a core operator of thin, point-to-point routes from Turkey to Europe. If you were in any doubt as to what to expect in Izmir when your SunExpress flight from Brussels lands, this fantastic route launch cake will clear up any issues you may have. The service operates twice-weekly.

Big growth in non-Istanbul seats to Europe and the Middle East

Almost 31 million seats were offered from Turkey to Europe and the Middle East last year, OAG Schedules data indicates, excluding both Istanbul airports.

This was up by 143%, or 20.6 million, versus 2010 – a strong CAGR of 9.3%. 

The last category, “Excl. both Istanbul airports, Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, and Izmir,” is effectively only VFR and ethnic-driven markets. 

While far smaller in absolute seat volume, totalling just under seven milliion seats last year, they – like the others – have exploded with new point-to-point routes.

This category saw seats increase by 173% since 2010, with 4.4 million added – a CAGR of 10.6%.

Time for ‘Ryanair Turkey’ 250 unserved routes to Europe – excl. Istanbul – with 7.5m+ indirect passengers

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Growing non-stops from Turkey to Europe and the Middle East

In the past couple of years, well over 100 new routes – excluding Istanbul – to Europe and the Middle East were launched by Turkish carriers alone.

SunExpress, primarily a point-to-point operator, is actively targeting this market, with most routes obviously thin with low frequencies.

Example SunExpress routes (Turkish AOC) in the past couple of years include the following:

  • Adana – Brussels, Hamburg, Vienna
  • Antalya – Bremen, Erbil, Kuwait
  • Dalaman – Düsseldorf 
  • Diyarbakir – Stuttgart
  • Elazig – Stuttgart
  • Eskishehir – Düsseldorf 
  • Edremit – Düsseldorf 
  • Gaziantep – Düsseldorf 
  • Izmir – Tehran Imam Khomeini
  • Kayseri – Cologne
  • Konya – Oslo, Helsinki
  • Kutahya – Düsseldorf 
  • Malatya – Frankfurt
  • Samsun – Stuttgart
  • Trabzon – Dammam, Kuwait, Tehran Imam Khomeini 

Corendon Airlines has also focused on them, with multiple new routes including:

  • Adana – Cologne, Hannover
  • Ankara – Cologne, Hannover, Saarbrücken
  • Antalya – Amman
  • Diyarbakir – Hannover
  • Edremit – Cologne
  • Eskisehir – Brussels
  • Gaziantep – Hannover
  • Kayseri – Cologne, Düsseldorf , Frankfurt, Hannover, Munich, Münster Osnabrück, Stuttgart, Vienna
  • Izmir – Basel, Berlin Tegel, Nuremberg, Vienna 
  • Trabzon – Cologne, Nuremberg
  • Zonguldak – Cologne, Münster Osnabrück

Likewise Pegasus:

  • Ankara – London Stansted
  • Antalya – London Stansted
  • Dalaman – Kiev Zhuliany
  • Gaziantep – Erbil
  • Samsun – Cologne, Düsseldorf 
  • Trabzon – Amman, Bahrain, Jeddah, Sharjah

And Turkish Airlines:

  • Ankara – Amsterdam, Cologne, Geneva
  • Antalya – Baghdad, Beirut, Frankfurt, Geneva, Tel Aviv
  • Dalaman – Amman, Kiev Boryspil, London Gatwick
  • Diyarbakir – Erbil
  • Elazig – Frankfurt
  • Gaziantep – Basel, Hamburg, Zurich
  • Hatay – Berlin Tegel, Cologne
  • Kayseri – Amsterdam, Hamburg
  • Konya – Amsterdam
  • Samsun – Hannover
Time for ‘Ryanair Turkey’ 250+ unserved routes to Europe – excl. Istanbul – with avg. 11,000 passengers (2)

Turkish Airlines has begun numerous routes away from Istanbul, including a daily Antalya – London Gatwick service that started in March 2019.

Despite the above, still over 250 unserved markets with average 11,000 passengers…

Looking at 2019 traffic data, there are over 250 unserved markets – excluding Istanbul – with an average of 11,000 indirect passengers.  This is based on a minimum of 5,000 passengers, i.e. often the market size of new routes created and then heavily stimulated by Ryanair and Wizz Air.

Crucially, this is pre-stimulation.

To put this 11,000 into context, a lot of the launched routes mentioned above had 5,000-20,000 indirect passengers.  For example, OAG Traffic Analyser indicates that Gaziantep – Basel had 14,000 pre-stimulation, Malatya – Frankfurt 7,000, and Konya – Oslo 5,000.

The 250 unserved markets involve dozens of airports across Turkey, each with multiple unserved routes.  But Adana, Ankara, Antalya, and Izmir have more.

Examples, chosen at random, include

  • Izmir – Milan (27,000 passengers)
  • Adana – Vienna (22,000)
  • Gaziantep – Paris (22,000)
  • Izmir – Paderborn (19,000)
  • Trabzon – Vienna (19,000)
  • Van – Cologne (17,000)
  • Antalya – Rome (16,000)
  • Kayseri – Lyon (14,000)
  • Konya – Vienna (12,000)

These 250 do not include brand-new or experimental markets – as often created by Ryanair or Wizz Air – with no historic air traffic data. There could be many such routes to and from Turkey.

… together with 60+ underserved routes to Europe

There were also around 60 underserved markets, with 50%+ of total passengers flying indirectly. 

These had an average of 17,000 indirect passengers.  Ankara – Amsterdam (90% indirect, amounting to 60,000 passengers) was number-one. 

On an absolute indirect traffic basis, underserved routes include the above but also many others, such as Antalya – Amsterdam (111,000), Ankara – Brussels (45,000), Antalya – Paris CDG (34,000), and Ankara – Stockholm (33,000).

47 unserved domestic routes with average 20,000 passengers, pre-stimulation

In addition to the above, there is also a sizeable unserved domestic market of around one million passengers, before stimulation, across 47 routes. 

These have an average of 20,000 passengers.

Examples include:

  • Adana – Erzurum (65,000)
  • Bodrum – Trabzon (63,000)
  • Dalaman – Gaziantep (29,000)
  • Izmir – Erzincan (22,000)
  • Adana – Denizli (17,000)
  • Antalya – Muş (14,000)

40 unserved Middle East routes with average 11,000 passengers before stimulation

Over one million indirect passengers were carried from non-Istanbul Turkey to the Middle East last year, with 40 unserved routes with an average of 11,000 passengers.

These include:

  • Ankara – Tel Aviv (33,000)
  • Trabzon – Tel Aviv (26,000)
  • Izmir – Beirut (16,000)
  • Konya – Tehran Imam Khomeini (8,000)

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