Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen more passengers than Frankfurt in August; Pegasus starts Karachi
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen had more passengers than Frankfurt in August 2020, at just over 1.8 million and 1.5 million respectively.
Of course, this is just temporary, and it results from Turkey’s border being relaxed, so driving demand.
Nonetheless, it is insightful to see how things have changed as a result of coronavirus.
Sabiha Gökçen had 35.5 million passengers in 2019, up by 24.3 million over 2010 – a CAGR of 12.3%.
In this period, Sabiha Gökçen’s domestic market grew by 14 million passengers (CAGR: 11.6%), and internationally by nearly 10.3 million (14.3%).
Sabiha Gökçen has so far added five routes in 2020: AnadoluJet to Cologne (last served between 2015 and 2017 and replacing Turkish Airlines) and London Stansted (last served in 2011 and replacing its parent to Gatwick).
Pegasus, meanwhile, added the Turkish city of Agri, 1,174 kilometres away, together with Medina and Karachi. We investigate Karachi later in this article.
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen: 1,591 departures in the week of 12 October
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen will have 1,591 departures in the week starting 12 October, OAG schedules data shows. This is down from 2,240 in the same week in 2019.
Pegasus and AnadoluJet will together have 96% of departures.
Of these 1,591, seven in ten will be domestic, up from half in 2019.
Sabiha Gökçen’s domestic network will comprise 33 destinations (down from 37), with Antalya, Izmir, Trabzon, Ankara, and Bodrum the top-five. It is the airport’s domestic market that is helping its total rebound.
Internationally, 60 destinations will be served (from 80) across 33 countries (39).
Germany is still top, with one-fifth of departures, with nine airports in the country served.
There is a new order in international routes, however, as Doha will now be number-one, up from fifth in 2019. Last year, Ercan (North Cyprus), Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, and Doha were the top-five.
Kuwait, the fourth-largest destination this year, will be served by four airlines: AnadoluJet, Jazeera, Kuwait Airways, and Pegasus.
Doha now #1 international route from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen
With 25 weekly departures across Qatar Airways (21) and Pegasus (four), Doha is now Sabiha Gökçen’s top international route.
The route is down from 29 YOY, the result of Pegasus’ frequency halving.
Booking data, obtained through OAG Traffic Analyser, reveals that Qatar Airways’ top O&Ds were Kuwait (despite the non-stops), Jakarta, Muscat, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo Haneda, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Salalah.
Pegasus achieved an estimated SLF of 87% to/from Doha. Nearly half of its Qatar passengers connected over Sabiha Gökçen.
Sabiha Gökçen’s Karachi connection
Pegasus began Karachi on 25 September, with the 3,919-kilometre service postponed from 1 June.
We spoke with Gerald Ong, Sabiha Gökçen’s Aviation Marketing Director, about this development.
“Pakistan is Pegasus’ first foray into the Asian continent, further expanding its network at Sabiha Gökçen.
“Karachi is an important addition as it will provide the connectivity for Pegasus’ network expansion within the UK and continental European markets.
“Starting with an initial four-weekly frequency, the route has the potential to increase to once-daily.
“In addition, the growth of this route will allow for expansion into the other cities in Pakistan, especially Lahore and Islamabad.”
Not surprisingly, Ong expects Stansted and Manchester to be core for sixth freedom traffic due to the significant ethnic travel.