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NEWS Turkey leaves its mark on air transportation

10 Apr 2024

Turkey has become a prominent country in air travel due to its geographical advantage and investments in the aviation sector. Within a circle drawn with Turkey at its center and a 4-hour flight distance, there are 1.4 billion people and 67 countries. Turkey is rapidly progressing towards becoming the world's transit hub.

Air transportation, which was once limited to a small population, continues to grow rapidly due to both technological advancements and the increasing needs of the world's population. Especially in recent years, with investments in air transportation and the increasing number of airports in Turkey, the country has begun to stand out in both passenger and cargo transportation.

Access to 1.4 billion people with a 4-hour flight

However, Turkey's leap in aviation is not limited to domestic flights. Rapid growth occurs when Turkey's geographical location advantage is combined with investments in this area. It can reach approximately 1.4 billion people living in countries within a 4-hour flight from Turkey. Within these 4 hours of flight, there are 67 different countries. This rapidly propels Turkey towards becoming the world's transit hub. Finally, with the opening of Istanbul Airport in 2018, which is among the world's largest and busiest airports, Turkey has become one of the most important countries in air transportation. Istanbul Airport became Europe's busiest airport in 2022 with 64,486,000 passengers and in 2023 with 76,236,000 passengers. Of the flights made last year, 58.2 million were from the international terminal. On June 22, 2023, a record was broken with 1,684 flights from Istanbul Airport in a single day.

Important for trade

Turkey's development in aviation provides an advantage not only in passenger transportation but also in terms of trade. With approximately a 4-hour flight from Turkey, it is possible to reach points such as Ethiopia, Morocco, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Portugal, Tajikistan, and Norway. With a 3-hour flight, almost every country in Europe and Central Asia can be reached. Travel to many Balkan and Middle Eastern countries has also decreased to around 2 hours. This contributes to the increase in commercial activities.

There is a terminal with a capacity of 337 million passengers

The 'Civil Aviation Policy' was initiated by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in 2002. As a result of this policy, the number of civil airports, which was 26 in 22 years, increased to 59, and the passenger terminal capacity, which was 55 million, reached 337 million 450 thousand. Flights to 60 points in 50 countries on international routes increased to 243 countries in 130 countries. Thus, a 472% increase in Turkish civil aviation was achieved in 22 years. The total number of aircraft, which was 489 in 2002, reached 1,813.

Due to these developments, in 2022, Turkey ranked 3rd in passenger traffic in Europe and 6th worldwide. In terms of passenger traffic, Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen, and Esenboğa airports are among the top 20 in Europe and the top 50 in the world.

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