Istanbul Airport sets new European flight record

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Istanbul Airport served 1,684 flights on Sunday, exceeding the previous record of 1,624 set by Frankfurt Airport on September 11, 2019, according to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) on Monday.

According to the watchdog, the hub, which is already Europe’s busiest, had a 12% increase in daily traffic as football fans returned home from the 2023 Champions League Final in Istanbul.

Eurocontrol also noted an increase in daily flows in the Champions League finalists’ home towns. The main international airport in northern Italy, Milan Malpensa, saw a 54% increase in traffic week over week. Meanwhile, Manchester Airport’s daily traffic increased by a fairly modest 5%.

According to Eurocontrol, the previous three daily arrival-departure records at a European airport were all established in quick succession in 2019 before the epidemic.

“The previous record was held by Frankfurt, which overtook Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (1,612 daily flights on 26 August 2019), which in turn replaced Madrid Barajas (1,600 daily flights on 2 June 2019) in less than a month,” it added.

Adil Karaismailoglu, Turkey’s transportation and infrastructure minister, announced last month that Istanbul Airport set a new record for the number of daily flights and passenger traffic. It handled 195,640 passengers on 1,301 flights on April 30.

Istanbul’s new airport, which opened four and a half years ago, is the largest of the city’s two international hubs. It took the role of the older Ataturk Airport and has grown into a bustling modern air facility that connects Europe and Asia. Turkish Airlines’ base of operations is located in the hub. The airport stated on May 6 that it had served over 200 million passengers.

Due to current geopolitical concerns, Istanbul’s new airport has been able to capture some of the increased demand. Flights to Moscow, London, Dubai, and Tel Aviv are among the city’s most popular foreign destinations. Since the airport’s opening in 2018, around six million people have flown on Tehran flights, the most popular route.