Istanbul with its massive 3rd airport expected to soon take hub business away from Heathrow

The massive new 3rd airport for Istanbul – Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA) – big enough to take 150 million passengers per year in due course, is due to open on October 29th 2017.  With 3 runways built in the first phase, it will have six runways and four terminals when completed. It would mean Istanbul having an airport larger than any in Europe.  It will replace Atatürk Airport and provide the capacity that Turkish Airlines wants for huge expansion. Turkey is not doing well in cutting its carbon emissions overall, with more coal power stations planned and inadequate targets. A total of 25 new airports have opened in Turkey in the last 10 years. It is thought that by 2028, the new Istanbul airport may have enough capacity to shift passengers away from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Heathrow, Schiphol, and Dubai.  Even with the existing airports, Istanbul has been taking share from competitors for transfer traffic between Europe and Asia. Istanbul is one of the top-five largest feeders for Europe. It is likely that even if a 3rd runway was built at Heathrow, Istanbul would overtake Heathrow. It is better located to be a major hub airport, and would take its business. That is expected to start even before 2020. The President of Turkish Airlines says: “The world used to be focused on Northern Europe and America. In this century, it’s our turn.” 


Travel tech industry smells money in gigantic new Istanbul airport

19.2.2016 (tnooz)

Turkey is on track to spend more than $5 billion on Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA), which — if it fulfills its ambitions — will have six runways and four terminals.

By the end of next year, its first phase is scheduled to open, with three runways operating out of a main terminal with two satellite terminals.

By 2028, it may have enough capacity to shift share away from de Gaulle, Heathrow, Schiphol, and Dubai by being able to process 150 million passengers a year.

Already before the new airport opens, Istanbul’s existing airports have been taking share from competitors for transfer traffic between Europe and Asia. The city is one of the top-five largest feedersfor Europe.

In 2013, (the year with the latest comparable data available), Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport processed 51 million passengers, about the same as Amsterdam. It’s on track to overtake Frankfurt in passenger volume by early next year, Bloomberg reports.

In a dozen years, Turkish Airlines has boosted its fleet numbers from 55 aircraft to nearly 300.

All of this growth is good news for airport and airline IT specialist businesses.

Heathrow, Schiphol, Istanbul etc pax compared

From Anna Aero.   27.1.2016   Link


“In this century, it’s our turn”


An interview with Dr Temel Kotil, General Manager and CEO, Turkish Airlines, President, Association of European Airlines.

An extract from a longer article:

Istanbul: Overtaking Heathrow’s hub

If Istanbul Atatürk were to continue to grow at 9% (as it has in 2015) and for London Heathrow to grow by the same 2% it is achieving (bearing in mind that the earliest a third runway will be built will be 2025), then Istanbul will overtake Heathrow in just three years, or exactly about the time Istanbul New Airport, the €10.2 billion mega-hub, is set to open. However, because of constraint at Istanbul Atatürk, it is possible that Turkish Airlines’ growth could be squeezed, reducing this growth pace. But even then, it does not seem that the assumption of Istanbul having ‘Europe’s largest airport’ will be delayed much beyond 2020.

Of course Turkish Airlines’ ambitions are expected to be entirely served by being the primary customer of Istanbul New Airport when it opens in 2018, and which unsurprisingly Dr Kotil puts in the same “largest on Earth” category as he does his own airline: “The world used to be focused on Northern Europe and America. In this century, it’s our turn.”

Indeed İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi A.Ş (İGA), the five-member consortium building the airport, maintains the same position, claiming that they are building a brand to rival Changi: “The most important hub between New York and Shanghai,” a statement which clearly overlooks the hubs of the Middle East Big Three (MEB3 = Emirates at Dubai, Etihad at Abu Dhabi, and Qatar Airways at Doha).

Kotil agrees that there are some competitive parallels with the MEB3 – notably the clear government support for the role of air transport in both the Turkish and Gulf economies, and how this translates into active support of the objectives of the airline(s), the airport(s), and the fundamental importance of tourism.

But the comparisons end there: Istanbul has a radically different place on the Southern tip of Europe making it much closer to its most important sources of feed. This famously allows Turkish Airlines services to use widebodies to steal feed from European hubs, and larger airports, but crucially to deploy its army of 737-800 single-aisle aircraft to a plethora of potentially hundreds of smaller airports of the size of Gothenburg and Friedrichshafen – airports which cannot viably be exploited for feed by Emirates widebodies.

The genuine success of this hub means that well over 50% of Turkish Airlines’ traffic at Istanbul Atatürk Airport is now transfer. However, Kotil also stresses that Istanbul – and Turkey – also have a much bigger O&D market than Middle East and other hub cities. He points out that Istanbul (pop. 14 million) and Moscow (12 million) are Europe’s “only true mega cities with populations rivalling those in Asia.” Kotil says this means the potential volume for O&D is “sky-high” compared to super-luxurious Dubai (pop. 2.1 million), and certainly just-overtaken Frankfurt (0.7 million), and even Europe’s great visitor magnets of London (8.5 million), and Paris (2.3 million).

Kotil enthuses: “Istanbul is an excellent mega city. It is not an eastern city, nor a western city, it is multi-cultural.” The number of tourist visits to Istanbul has trebled this century from four million to 12 million. With the Turkish economy four times bigger than it was in 2000, business and leisure passengers have plenty of reason to visit Istanbul and Turkey (pop. 75 million). Turkish Airlines is assisting this effect, even with the transfer passengers – those with a wait of six hours or more can now make the most of a free tour of Istanbul, turning those using its hub from people changing planes into real tourist dollar visitors to Turkey.



12.1.2016  (Airport World)

An international team of architects is working on the design of Istanbul’s planned new €10.2 billion airport, which is expected to boast the world’s biggest terminal complex.

The gateway is set to boast three runways and a super size terminal capable of handling 90 million passengers per annum when it opens on October 29, 2017.

Its capacity will eventually rise to 150mppa, the first of two planned development phases being activated when it handles 80 million passengers per annum.

Located 35 kilometres from the centre of Istanbul on a 7,650 hectare site close to the Black Sea, the gateway will replace Atatürk Airport and provide the capacity needed to support the continued rapid growth of air traffic and the hub operations of Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines’ president and CEO, Temil Kotil, for one, has no doubt that the 2017 opening date is feasible, despite alleged funding issues the huge construction programme necessary to make it become a reality.

“A total of 25 new airports have opened in Turkey in the last 10 years, some built in less than one year. We are good at building things in Turkey,” he says.

“The new airport will be good for Turkish Airlines and Istanbul as although Atatürk is a very good airport, we have outgrown it, and need more capacity to meet future demand.”

The Turkish government awarded the concession to build and operate Istanbul’s new €10.2 billion gateway to the İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS consortium after it agreed to pay it a sizeable fee of €22.2 billion plus VAT over the course of the 25 year operating lease.

It promises that Istanbul’s new gateway to the world will offer “outstanding aesthetic features and a simple and user-friendly layout”.

Arup has developed the master plan for the new airport, which will become one of the world’s new mega-hubs, while UK-based Grimshaw – in partnership with the Nordic Office of Architecture – will design the gateway’s one million square metre terminal.

İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AS comprises the Turkish companies of Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon, all of which have a 20% stake in the Build-operate-transfer (BOT) project.

Others working on the huge project include Haptic Architects and local Turkish partners, GMW Mimarlik and Tekeli Sisa.


Istanbul New Airport shaping up as a hub for the 21st century

The latest designs for Istanbul’s newest airport – aptly called Istanbul New Airport – have been released, this time for its air traffic control tower. Designed by the US firm Aecom and the leading Italian automotive design company Pininfarina, the 95-metre structure is an elliptical tower designed to resemble the tulip, a Turkish symbol.

The new design – which beat away competition from global architects such as Zaha Hadid – will act as a crowning glory to the passenger terminal design from the architects Grimshaw and Nordic.

“We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st-century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage,” says Yusuf Akçayoglu, the chief executive of Istanbul Grand Airport, the company responsible for the development.

As one of the world’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport has ambitious passenger numbers in mind. The first phase of the project aims to serve 90 million passengers per year, rising to 150 million passengers per annum when the development is complete.

These figures will dwarf Dubai International Airport’s passenger numbers, currently standing at about 70 million passengers per year, according to the Airports Council International. According its operator, the figures until the end of November stood at 70.96 million.

While Istanbul New Airport is 35 kilometres from Istanbul, much farther than the current airport, it has the land needed to fulfil its grand plans. Six runways will be developed and delivered in four phases.

To help business travellers connect to the city, a large plaza and transport hub will be built at the entrance, allowing the airport to integrate with existing rail, metro and bus routes.

Travellers connecting through the hub should also expect a market-leading lounge from Turkish Airlines, which recently added a further 2,400 square metres to its 3,500 square metres lounge in Ataturk airport.

Estimated to be open in late next year, the first phase of the new airport will feature three runways, one main terminal with two satellite terminal buildings, 88 aircraft passenger bridges, hospitals, hotels and even convention centres.


Why has Istanbul decided to build a third airport?

Turkish Airlines is growing fast, similar to the Middle East’s three airlines, thanks to its strategic position. However, Atatruk International Aiport, built in 1924 and currently the world’s 13th largest by passenger figures, is restricted by the city that surrounds the perimeter, meaning it cannot build an extra runway required to support growth.

How can Turkish Airlines grow so rapidly?

Over the past 12 years, Turkish Airlines has increased its fleet size nearly six times from 55 aircraft to almost 300. The airline still has more than 180 aircraft on order, including both short-haul and long-haul aircraft; these will help the airline to expand its growth further. The carrier already flies to over 110 countries, more than any other airline in the world. The current airport restrictions are slowing the airline’s growth, but these will be removed with the new airport’s capacity.

How much will this new airport cost?

The Turkish government awarded the concession to build and operate Istanbul’s new €10.2 billion (Dh40.45bn) gateway to the IGA Havalimaniletmesi consortium after it agreed to pay it a fee of €22.2bn over the course of the 25-year operating lease.




Forests and lakes destroyed to build Istanbul’s vast 3rd airport aerotropolis covering 76 square kilometers of land

Istanbul is building a third airport, north of the city close to the Terkos lake area.  Istanbul already has Atatürk Airport on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen airport on the Asian side (these handle around 45 million and 15 million passengers respectively per year), but both claim to be struggling with increased demand – being well located as a hub between Europe, the Middle East and the East.  Their national airline, Turkish Airlines, is growing fast. The site for the 3rd airport, which is to be an Aerotropolis, not merely an airport, is about 76 square kilometres. The third airport is linked with other forest destroying megaprojects – a third bridge over the Bosphorus, a motorway and a canal linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. All three are linked and feed into each other.  The vast construction works destroy areas of forest, lakes and ponds – causing serious local concern about biodiversity loss, loss of natural habitat and possible future heat island and water supply problems.  Turkey wants another vast airport, perhaps able to take up to 150 million passengers per year, partly to boost its chances of getting the Olympics in 2024. The busiest airport in the world now, Atlanta, handles about 95 million passengers per year.  A short video shows the ongoing environmental destruction, during the building of the airport.


Turkey plans to build a 6-runway mega airport near Istanbul to be one of the world’s largest

Turkey is planning to build one of the world’s biggest airports, and one larger than anything in Europe, costing some $5bn.  It wants to make Istanbul a global hub and boost its chances of getting the Olympics in 2020. Turkey is well situated geographically for traffic between the USA and Europe, and the Far East. It is therefore in competition with other Middle East and Gulf countries, which are also building mega-sized airports, such as Dubai and Doha (capital of Qatar). A tender will be held in may for the Turkish airport.  This would be the third airport for Istanbul, which already has Ataturk airport, and Sabiha airport – which handle around 45 million and 15 million passengers respectively per year. The new airport will be near the Black Sea, and is anticipated to be able to cope with 150 million passengers per year. By contrast, Heathrow deals with some 69 million, and Atlanta – the world’s busiest airport – handles some 90 million per year. The plans are for the new 6 runway airport to be open by 2017.