Sabiha Gökçen gets a chance to shine after shake up of Istanbul gateways

By Kevin Rozario (London, United Kingdom)

Istanbul has been in the global limelight for the right and wrong reasons for a number of years. From vicious terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016, followed by an attempted coup also in 2016, and a continuing currency slide until last year, to the opening of the gleaming new Istanbul Grand Airport (IST) in October 2018.

Despite the problems, which also included a temporary Russian tourism boycott when one of its jets was shot down by Turkish forces in 2015, the country’s ambition to become a hub for global aviation, is being realised—with Istanbul at the heart of that goal. Given the city’s historical importance as a cultural and physical crossroads between Europe and Asia, the move is also symbolically significant.

In April 2019, Turkish Airlines’ and other traffic moved to the new 90 million passenger-capacity IST from the former hub of Atatürk Airport (new IATA code ISL) the latter now serving solely as a cargo gateway.

The switch-over has given a new impetus to Istanbul’s lesser-known other international airport – Sabiha Gökçen (SAW). The gateway has played second fiddle to Atatürk for years but the passenger shift to IST from ISL is seen by SAW as an opportunity.

Investor Insights

Members-only content. Subscribers click here to sign in

Not yet a member of AirportIR?

Subscribers receive access to value-added content including the latest Deal Pipeline intel, in-depth feature articles and analysis, operator profiles, industry insights, reports and much more.

You may also like