By Muhammed Ali Gurtas</p> <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkish airports hosted nearly 197 million passengers on both domestic and international flights in January-November this year, the airport authority reported on Thursday.</p> <p>The General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI) said the number of passengers passing through Turkish airports in the 11-month period climbed 9.7 percent on a yearly basis.</p> <p>Official figures showed that 46.7 percent of the total passengers travelled on international flights.</p> <p>Among 56 airports in the country, Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the European side was the most active one with some 63 million passengers -- nearly 18 million passengers on domestic flights and 45 million passengers on international flights.</p> <p>The second busiest airport was Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the city's Anatolian side with around 31.5 million passengers, marking a 9-percent hike over the same period. </p> <p>The airports in in the Mediterranean holiday resort city of Antalya (30.7 million), the capital Ankara (15.6 million), and the Aegean province of Izmir with 12.5 million passengers followed Istanbul’s airports. </p> <p>DHMI also said that total aircraft traffic in Turkish airspace -- including overflights -- surged 6 percent to reach 1.87 million flights, while a total of 3.54 million tons of freight -- baggage, cargo, mail -- was carried in the same period.
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Phase one of Istanbul’s new airport with an annual capacity of 90 million passengers is ready for its official opening on Monday.
The inauguration ceremony will take place on Republic Day, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, with the attendance of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and more than 50 foreign leaders, ministers, and high-level officials.
The €6-billion ($7.2 billion) first stage, which was built in nearly three years through a public-private partnership model, is among a set of mega projects planned as part of a series of objectives for Turkey’s 2023 centennial.
On Monday, two runways — 3,750 and 4,100 meters long — will go into service as a part of the first phase, including three separate airstrips.
According to the IGA consortium, the contractor and operator of the project, over the next 10 years the new airport will reach an annual capacity of 200 million passengers with the completion of all four phases with six runways.
Turkish airports welcomed nearly 164 million people between January and September this year, while over 31 percent of air passengers used Turkey’s busiest airport, Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
Following the country’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines’ shift to the new airport by the end of this year, the Ataturk Airport campus will transition to other uses, such as training activities, aviation fairs, and civil use.
At full capacity, Istanbul’s new airport is set to become a global aviation hub by hosting more than 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations around the world.
By Arife Yildiz Unal
ANKARA (AA) – The new Istanbul airport is expected to boost Turkish aviation sector's growth by 27.5 percent in the next three years.
The number of passengers, including those on direct transit are expected to increase by 13 percent to reach around 219 million this year, compared with 193.6 million passengers last year, according to the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI) data.
The authority forecasts over 230 million air passengers next year and a rise of 27.5 percent, year-on-year, to reach nearly 250 million in 2020.
The largest increase will be seen in passengers on international flights — around 29 percent — to reach 107.7 million in 2020, compared with 83.5 million passengers last year.
Domestic flight passengers were expected to rise to nearly 140 million — a 26.6-percent increase — compared with 110 million last year, DHMI said.
Air traffic, including transit overflights in Turkish airspace is projected to reach over 2.5 million this year compared with 1.91 million in 2017 — eventually rising to around 2.25 million by 2020.
Air cargo transportation across Turkey was around 3.5 million tons last year. It is expected to reach 3.8 million tons this year and 4.2 million tons in 2020.
The third airport in the city will be the world's biggest project built from scratch upon completion.
The first phase of the new airport — 90 percent of which is already completed — is expected to formally open on Oct. 29.
In the first phase, the airport will welcome 90 million passengers annually. In the second phase, which is expected to complete in 2023, it is projected that the number would rise to 150-250 million.
Underscoring that Istanbul’s new airport is “highly significant for the future of Turkey”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2015 said: “With the completion of all phases of this project, Turkey, especially Istanbul, will become a global center in world’s air traffic.”
After the launch of the new airport, Ataturk Airport on the European side of the city will be replaced by a huge park named "People's Garden", Erdogan announced earlier.
A total of 1.38 billion people have passed through the country's airports during the last 10-year period — 2008 to 2017, the DHMI data shows.
By Sorwar Alam
ANKARA (AA) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday it is time to make Turkey a leading transportation hub with new megaprojects.
“Now, with a third airport, Canal Istanbul and other megaprojects, it is time to make Turkey a world leader in transportation,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
His statement came after his aircraft made the first-ever landing at Istanbul’s new colossal airport which is expected to formally open to air traffic on Oct. 29.
The city’s third airport — 90 percent of which is already completed — will be the world's biggest project built from scratch once it is completed in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Canal Istanbul Project, an artificial sea-level waterway that will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, is also planned to be completed by 2023.
Erdogan also noted that several other transportation projects have been completed during his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s rule.
“In 16 years [of AK Party rule], we have connected our cities with each other and our country with the world by implementing transportation projects,” he added.
The Twitter post also included an infographic with details on the development of Turkey’s air transport system.
According to the infographic, the new international airport in Istanbul will have a 200-million passenger capacity once all its sections are completed in 2025.
In 2002, Turkey had 26 airports, which the AK Party government increased to 55 in 2017, Erdogan noted.
Moreover, the number of international destinations rose to 237 in 2017 from 60 in 2002, according to the infographic.
The total number of air passengers also increased to 193 million from 34 million in 2002, including 109 million domestic passengers from 8 million and 83 million overseas passengers from 25 million.
It also outlined that Turkey will open nine new airports by 2022. The airport in Cukurova will be operational in 2019, the Rize-Artvin, Cesme and Tokat airports in 2020, airports in Karaman, Yozgat and Bayburt in 2021 and another airport in Western Antalya will be opened in 2022.
– Plans to build 25,000 km of new railways
According to another image shared with the Twitter message, Turkey built a total of 50 kilometers (31 miles) of motorway tunnels from 1923-2002. In comparison, the AK Party government built 383 km (238 miles) of tunnels between 2002-2018.
The current government plans to build a total of 700 km (435 miles) of tunnels across the country by 2023.
Erdogan also shared his plan to connect 18 provinces with high-speed rail lines and to build 25,000 km (15,534 miles) of new railway lines by 2023.
By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) – The number of passengers passing through the Turkish airports surged 16.4 percent annually in the first five months of 2017, the country’s airport authority announced on Wednesday.
The Turkish airports served more than 78 million people between January and May, up from 67 million in the same period last year, according to the General Directorate of State Airports Authority.
In the same period, cargo traffic also saw an increase of 15.2 percent year-on-year to reach over 1.4 million tons — including overflights.
Turkey served almost 763,113 planes in the first five months of the year, indicating a rise of 9.2 percent from the same period last year, including overflights.
In May, more than 18 million passengers passed through Turkish airports, up 7.3 percent from the same month last year.
The number of international passengers increased 17 percent to reach 8.7 million in May.
Istanbul's Ataturk Airport remains the busiest airport in the country with nearly 4 million international passengers in the month.
Antalya Airport, serving the Mediterranean resort city in southern Turkey, was the second busiest airport with 2.74 million international passengers.
By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) – The number of passengers traveling through Turkish airports surged by 17.6 percent year-on-year in February, according to official data released on Tuesday.
Data from Turkey's General Directorate of State Airports Authority revealed that airports across the country served more than 13 million people last month.
The number of international passengers reached nearly 4.7 million in the month, rising 22 percent from February 2017.
The number of domestic fliers totaled 8.4 million, marking an increase of 15.5 percent during the same period.
According to Tuesday's data, Turkish airports served 129,972 planes, up 6.4 percent compared to the same month last year. Air cargo traffic was also on the rise during the same period.
The total amount of air cargo in February increased 18.5 percent year-on-year to reach 238,485 tons.
Istanbul’s Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen airports and capital Ankara's Esenboga Airport considerably contributed to the February figures.
Ataturk Airport served over 4.7 million passengers alone, up 18 percent on an annual basis.
By Tuba Sahin and Gokhan Ergocun
ANKARA (AA) – The number of passengers passing through Turkish airports surged by 7.4 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2017, the country’s airport authority said on Monday.
More than 105 million people traveled through airports in Turkey between January and July, up from 97.9 million in the same period last year, according to the General Directorate of State Airports Authority.
In the same period the number of international passengers advanced by 12.4 percent to reach nearly 44.2 million.
Cargo traffic was also on the rise, by 8.5 percent year-on-year to over 1.8 million tons — including overflights.
Turkey served over one million planes in the January-March 2017 period, a rise of 2.9 percent from the same period last year, including overflights.
Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport remains the busiest airport in Turkey. It was followed by Sabiha Gokcen Airport, Istanbul’s main air hub on the Asian side, and Ankara Esenboga, the capital city’s airport.
By Bahattin Gonultas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey expects to welcome over 226 million air passengers annually by 2019, up 30 percent over last year, according to official revised figures released Monday.
The 174 million passengers Turkey welcomed in 2016, including direct transit passengers, is expected to rise 8.4 percent to reach 188.6 million at the end of the year, said the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI).
That figure is expected to climb to some 205 million in 2018 and 226.6 million in 2019, according to directorate figures.
The largest increase is expected to be in the number of international passengers, rising 41 percent from 71 million last year to over 100 million in 2019.
The number of domestic air passengers is also expected to rise 22.8 percent to reach 126.1 million in the next three years.
The authority expects airplane traffic including overflights to rise to 1.95 million by the end of the year from 1.829 million flights in 2016, increasing to 2.13 million in 2018 and 2.3 million in 2019.
Air cargo traffic in the country is also expected to rise to over 4 million tons in 2019 from around 2.9 million tons in 2016, according to the authority.