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on the fly: What are Turkey’s busiest international airline markets?

June 5, 2023

An analysis of international capacity scheduled in and out of Turkey.

Analytics on the fly

on the fly: What are Turkey’s busiest international airline markets?


Thanks to the incredible growth of Turkish Airlines, as well as impressive expansion from low-cost airlines like Pegasus, Turkey (or officially Türkiye), has become a central stage in the world of global aviation.

The country is well-placed for global flight connections. It attracts millions of tourists every year. And its airport infrastructure has greatly expanded. In 2003, Turkish Airlines carried just 10m passengers. This year, it expects to fly more than 85m. In the next ten years, it aims to exceed 170m!

Which airports have the most international capacity scheduled into and out of Turkey? Using Cirium Diio, we can see from our data below that Düsseldorf ranks first, accompanied near the top by many other German airports. This capacity mostly serves the large Turkish communities living in Germany, some of whom are migrant workers. Russia remains an important airline market for Turkey. The same applies for many Middle Eastern countries including Israel and Iran. Western European markets such as London are critical too.

Many travelers using Istanbul airport are of course connecting between two countries other than Turkey. IATA calls this sixth-freedom traffic. Diio contains a tool called FM Traffic which enables you to identify key connecting flows through airports around the world. Take the Istanbul-Los Angeles route flown by Turkish Airlines as an example. An FM Traffic analysis shows that many travelers on this route are originating or ending their journeys in Tehran, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, and Beirut. Here’s one more example: The Turkish Airlines route between Istanbul and Johannesburg has many people connecting to and from Tel Aviv, Munich, Copenhagen, and Dublin. Two other important markets for that route are London and Amsterdam.

NEXT ON THE FLY: Who are Asia-Pacific’s largest airlines?

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