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Istanbul Airport in 4 years record numbers and international awards

Istanbul Airport in 4 years record numbers and international awards

Despite its short life and modernity in the world of airports, the 3rd Airport of Istanbul was able to achieve a large number of achievements, which reflected a deep vision of the Turkish state from the first moment when they announced its establishment in 2014, and despite the fact that the actual operation of the airport began in October 2018, it achieved great improvement in the level of its services, its quality and its passenger capacity, so that Istanbul Airport took place in second place among the best 5-star airports for its facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping, dining and employee service in the security and immigration sectors.

According to the survey conducted by "SkyTrax" in October 2021, the site evaluation reported that Istanbul Airport was able to achieve an excellent range of services and facilities for customers, and to provide a wide range of shopping and dining options, in addition to practical elements such as comfort areas, workplaces, and friendly areas for families, also, the easy access and regular moving walkways, assistance points, and carts for the old people and families, The airport continues to develop its entertainment services, which currently includes museum exhibitions, music and artistic performances, as well as several landscape areas to enhance the building's décor.

Actually, there are several factors behind the success of third Airport of Istanbul that made it an attention point and a primary destination in “transit” flights and direct flights, in this article we will explain the importance of Istanbul airport and what it achieved through the past 4 years till now and how it contributed making a qualitative leap to place Turkish Airlines among the most important international airlines.


The airport from an idea to an ambitious reality

In 2014, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the state's intention to establish a new airport called "Istanbul Third Airport" to transfer air traffic from Ataturk International Airport, in order to receive a larger number of passengers, especially since Ataturk Airport was receiving increasing numbers of arriving passengers to Turkey as a result of the flowering of tourism, and because of the increasing of coming foreign tourists to Istanbul in 2017 had by 17.8%, the President Erdogan announced at that time one of the goals of the new airport is not only to receive a larger number of passengers, but to accommodate a greater number of direct and indirect "transit" flights, and also to face the increasing movement of cargo freight, especially the annual growth rate of cargo operations in Istanbul at that time reached 18.7% in the period between 2009 and 2017, to make Istanbul a center point for air cargo transportation between Asia and Europe, to become the largest cargo transportation station, whether through air navigation or sea navigation.

Through four years, starting on June 7, 2014, the new airport has been built in Arnavutkoy, over an area of 76.5 million square meters and is 40 kilometers away from the city center, the first phase of the project was opened on the Republic Day of Turkey on October 29, 2018, with cost up to 12 billion dollars, but officially all commercial flights had been moved to the new airport on April, 6, 2019, after being ready with its all capacity after the massive transferring for Turkish airline to the new airport and closing Ataturk airport at Yeşilköy.

More than 1000 trucks and vehicles with the efforts of 5000 workers to transport about 12.000 pieces of equipment weighing more than 47.000 Tons just in 12 hours, and also to transport the aircraft towing device which is weighing 44 tons containing highly sensitive materials through Istanbul to the new airport, which was documented at "The Great Move" the documentary film prepared and broadcast on National Geographic Channel.


Istanbul airport

Istanbul Airport in numbers

Although the four phases of the airport will be completed in 2028, but since the first moment of its opening, it was able to achieve many records in the field of world airports at the international level, which led to it receiving many awards.

Now the third airport of Istanbul is launching flights to 250 total international destinations to different continentals, connecting 120 countries and more than 60 capitals, and more 50 domestic destinations.

The area of the airport is equivalent to the area of 7 football fields, it has 114 gates, it contains 40,000 parking spaces for cars and buses, and a capacity of 20,000 seats, and 228 counters for passport control, and there is a 42-kilometre luggage conveyor belt with a capacity of transporting 30,000 bags per hour.

Now Istanbul airport is receiving and transporting about 90 million passengers at the current phase, but it is expected after completing the 4 phases in 2028 that its capacity will reach to 150 million passengers, 500 aircrafts, and exceeding its flights to 350 destinations, with open and closed car parks with a capacity of 70,000 cars and buses, and it is also scheduled to open the biggest Hotel in the airport area with 451 rooms capacity.

According to ACI Europe reported that in 2021 Istanbul airport was categorized in the second place as the most crowded airports in the world, as it received about 75.7 million passengers, with an increase 76.4%, and proceeded 81.876 flights from Istanbul airport in the period between January and March 2021, serving about 11.4 million passengers.

This year the Turkish airports authority declared that about 18 million passengers travelled through Istanbul airport, as there were 11 million and 414 thousand and 230 passengers travelled through Istanbul airport in the first 3 months of this year 2022, including 8 million 490 thousand and 727 passengers travelled through international airlines, reported that the total number of passengers have been increased 106% in the first quarter of this year 2022 comparing the same period in the last year 2021.

On April 30, 2022, Istanbul airport get a new record in daily flights, with the beginning of feast vacations that lasted 3 days, as there were 195.640 passengers travelled from Istanbul airport through 1301 flights, as that vacation is considered the first vacation after two years of quarantine because of COVID-19 and this vacation come after easing procedures of corona pandemic.


Deserved international awards

Istanbul Airport has won many international awards, in 2019, the airport won the first-place award as the best airport in the world for 2019 from the International Airport Review.

In 2020, Istanbul Airport was awarded “Best Airport in Europe” and “Accessibility Airport” at the 17th ACI Europe Awards, organized by Airports Council International (ACI Europe), thanks to the proactive measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2021, Istanbul Airport was categorized in the "Top 10 International Airports" category in the "Best World Awards 2021" survey, which organized annually by “Travel and leisure” magazine based in New York, and according to the results of the magazine's survey, determined by readers' votes, Istanbul Airport ranked second after Changi Airport in Singapore, beating Incheon (Korea), Dubai, Hamad (Qatar), Tokyo (Japan), Hong Kong (China) and Narita (Japan). Zurich (Switzerland) and Osaka (Japan) airports.

The poll was open for voting from January 11, 2021 until May 10, 2021, and it was confirmed that Istanbul Airport was among the most voted airports. In the list in which Singapore Changi Airport ranked first with a score of 93.45 points, and Istanbul Airport ranked second with a score of 91.17 points, and airports are evaluated in terms of accessibility, check-in, security, food and beverage areas, and shopping.


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Editing by Ramzy Real Estate Team ©


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