4 Years On: How Is Istanbul’s New Airport Performing?

Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Next month will be four years since all passenger services commenced out of Istanbul’s new airport (IST/LTFM). We ask: How is the airport performing?

Istanbul Airport opened on October 29, 2018, but didn’t commence passenger services until April 2019, and cargo services more recently in February 2022.

Using data from RadarBox.com, we will establish the progress made since 2019.

Istanbul Airport in 2023 So Far…

4 Years On: How Is Istanbul's New Airport Performing?
Data provided by RadarBox.com.

For February 26-March 5, the airport handled 1,308 movements, which represents an increase of 31.33% compared to the same period last year.

Compared to the last four years, this is the highest figure that the airport has recorded, having smashed 2022’s numbers of 996 movements.

Below is Istanbul Airport’s performance for 2023 so far:

Date2019 Numbers2020 Numbers2021 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
January 1-89 movements1089 movements517 movements996 movements1289 movements+29.42%
January 8-1517 movements1101 movements481 movements955 movements1258 movements+31.73%
January 15-2226 movements1110 movements488 movements910 movements1274 movements+40.00%
January 22-2927 movements1092 movements482 movements741 movements1264 movements+70.58%
January 29-February 525 movements1059 movements482 movements959 movements1247 movements+30.03%
February 5-1228 movements1059 movements493 movements969 movements1229 movements+26.83%
February 12-1927 movements1036 movements498 movements969 movements1288 movements+32.92%
February 19-2627 movements943 movements476 movements957 movements1316 movements+37.51%

What we can see from the data is that 2023 appears to be the year for Istanbul Airport so far, with significant double-digit growth observed week-on-week.

We can also see the impact of how COVID-19 limited the number of flights, with recovery beginning in 2022 and then further successes this year.

Ataturk’s Massive Drop-Off: Sabiha Gökçen Second Largest in Istanbul…

4 Years On: How Is Istanbul's New Airport Performing?
Data provided by RadarBox.com.

The data above highlights that Istanbul’s old airport, Ataturk, has been replaced by the new airport, with there being only a handful of movements in the airport.

For example, between February 26-March 5, Ataturk Airport handled 34 movements, which is a decrease of 45.16% compared to the same period and is 1,091 movements less than in 2019.

Data provided by RadarBox.com.

This now means that Sabiha Gökçen International Airport remains the second-largest airport within Istanbul, with 548 movements handled between February 26-March 5.

Such a figure is 11.04% less than the same period last year, but this budges the airport into the top 2, nevertheless.


4 Years On: How Is Istanbul's New Airport Performing?

It remains clear that the transition from Ataturk into the new Istanbul Airport has gone down smoothly, with the expanded airport now thriving more than ever.

The airport will no doubt continue to increase its movement numbers, especially with certain events such as the UEFA Champions League Final and general Summer 2023 demand on its way.

But for now, all eyes are on Istanbul Airport to see how much further it can take its operations and whether it can produce more average daily movements later this year.

By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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