Sabiha Gökçen aspires to be ‘city airport’

Sabiha Gökçen aspires to be ‘city airport’

Jale Özgentürk – ISTANBUL
Sabiha Gökçen aspires to be ‘city airport’

Istanbul’s second airport, which was opened for cheap flights 11 years ago, has entered a transformation process to become a major airport, CEO of the operating company has said.

Sabiha Gökçen Airport’s annual capacity of 33 million passengers was increased to 41 million passengers with the new domestic flights terminal, ISG’s CEO Ersel Göral told daily Hürriyet on June 10.

“We have taken a new position as Istanbul’s city airport,” he said.

The number of international passengers using Sabiha Gökçen has risen 25 percent since Istanbul Atatürk Airport was replaced by the mega international airport built in the north of the metropolis on April 5, he noted.

Some 50 domestic and international airways operate at Sabiha Gökçen, according to Göral’s remarks. Ariana Afghan Airlines and Kuwait Airways were recently added to the airport’s roster of airlines.

The airport on Istanbul’s Asian side served 34,059,000 passengers in 2018, making it the 12th biggest airport in Europe.

After the opening of the new runway next year, ISG plans to serve transoceanic flights as well. A metro line connecting the airport to the central districts of the metropolis is also expected to start service next year.

At full annual capacity of 200 million passengers- with the completion of all four phases with six runways until 2028- Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub with flights to over 350 destinations around the world.