Turkey

Istanbul Airport set to become busiest hub in Europe

Turkey's new mega-airport will have capacity to process 200M passengers in a few years, according to aviation expert

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 21.04.2021
Istanbul Airport set to become busiest hub in Europe

LONDON

Turkey’s new Istanbul Airport may become Europe’s busiest hub, leaving London’s Heathrow Airport behind when the aviation sector emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, according to an aviation analyst.

Ralph Anker told Britain’s The Independent website late Tuesday that “airports in western Europe have lost a far higher proportion of passengers than their rivals in the east – Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.”

Underlining that western European airports will lag behind Istanbul’s new airport in passenger numbers, Anker said the new mega-airport will become the busiest hub in Europe.

“While airports like Heathrow, which rely predominantly on international traffic, will recover eventually, by the time they do Istanbul’s new unconstrained mega-airport is likely to have established itself as Europe’s busiest airport,” he told the outlet.

The article said that Istanbul Airport “is expected to be capable of processing 200 million passengers annually within a few years.”

Turkey’s Istanbul Airport maintained its lead in European traffic charts with 604 flights on April 14, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) said last weekend.

According to its latest flight traffic report, Istanbul Airport was followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle with 478 flights, Frankfurt with 474, and Amsterdam with 451.

Madrid Barajas Airport came fifth with 414 daily flights, followed by Sabiha Gokcen Airport, also in Istanbul, with 345 flights.

Seven of the top 10 airports in Europe saw a fall in traffic over the last two weeks – back to pre-Easter break level, it said.

Last year, Istanbul Airport gained top global recognition by being named a five-star airport by London-based air transport rating agency Skytrax.

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