Istanbul’s growing popularity in the Middle East together with its increasing status as a commercial hub has led to a steep rise in new direct flights there from the Gulf States in the past 18 months. Property prices in Istanbul have been rising, around 700.000 new residents arrive in the city every year, which has prompted an “unprecedented” building boom.
Five years ago flights between Istanbul and the Gulf nations were minimal, however, as Istanbul has become more attractive to foreign investors, businesses and tourists, air routes there have mushroomed, pioneered in large part by national carrier Turkish Airlines – with growth in the Middle East being especially prominent. The knock-on effects for Istanbul’s real estate market can only be positive.”According to the Airports Council International, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport is now the fifth busiest airport in Europe, carrying just under 51.2 million passengers in 2013, behind only Amsterdam (Schiphol), Frankfurt (International), Paris (Charles de Gaulle) and London (Heathrow).
Istanbul Ataturk also features in the world’s top 20 busiest airports, ranked 18th in 2013 – up from 30th just two years ago. When Istanbul’s third ‘mega’ airport opens – currently expected to be in 2018 – it is expected to become the city’s primary air hub and be on a par with Dubai.Turkish Airlines operates regular flights to all Gulf States from Istanbul Ataturk Airport, but below is an outline of other operators and recent new flights, including to Istanbul’s second airport at Sabiha Gokcen, where the passenger count has quadrupled in five years.