Istanbul Airport

Updated: 29 July 2021 Created: 09 July 2019

Istanbul Airport (IST)

The new Istanbul Airport, officially opened by President Erdogan on 29th October 2018, became operational in April 2019 taking over from the former Ataturk Airport which its flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, had outgrown.

Istanbul Airport is 50 kilometres north west of the city in Arnavutkoy, and is poised to become the biggest airport by passenger traffic in the world cementing Turkey's position as the gateway of Europe, and providing a bridge between the East and West. It is already the world's largest airport terminal building, similar in size to Manhattan in New York or Leicester in England. Although Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is the world's busiest airport, handling 107 million passengers a year, Istanbul Airport is expecting 90 million annual passengers, rising to a capacity of 150 million when all phases are fully completed by 2027.

Istanbul Third Airport

Facilities at Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport has one large modern terminal comprising one Departure Level (Giden Yolcu Kati) and one Arrival Level (Gelen Yolcu Kati) and with a second smaller terminal proposed for 2025. Within the terminals there are multiple branch offices and ATMs for the following banks at four various locations:

Denizbank - ATM

Halkbank - ATM

Is Bank – ATM and Branch Office


Yapi Kredi – ATM

Vakifbank – ATM

Ziraat Bank ATM and Branch Office

Garanti Bank – ATM and Branch office


QNB Finansbank – ATM

You will also find 44 prayer rooms with a 6000-capacity mosque being planned. There are two exhibition areas as well as a play area for children and the Yotel Istanbul Airport is one of the biggest airport hotels in the world with 451 rooms.

Hundreds of stores supply local and international brands of accessories, jewellery, clothes, home textiles and electronics. There are already several food courts at Istanbul Airport providing about 150 food and beverage outlets.

About 55,000 square metres is devoted to duty free goods with nine sections housing different concepts including fashion, garden, accessories and electronics. Local and well known international car rental companies are present as are around 20 tourism and transfer offices.

Transportation to Istanbul Airport

Car – 60 minutes from the centre of Istanbul to Istanbul Airport (50 kilometres). The airport houses the biggest multi-storey car park under one roof around the world.

Bus – Buses are operated by: Havaist, IETT and Istanbul Seyahat. Havaist serves the airport to the centre of Istanbul with a two-way bus service with 15 minute and 90 minute intervals. IETT provides services on its Halkali, Mahmutbey, Mecidiyekoy, Ataturk Airport, Mescid-i Selam and Alibeykoy Bus Terminal lines and Istanbul Seyahat connects intercity trips between the airport and Corlu-Tekirdag.

Taxis – are available 24/7.

Metro – the M11 metro line will open at the beginning of 2020 and will run to Besiktas with a facility to transfer to Metro 2 for the city centre as well as to Metrobus, another popular means of transport. Ultimately three metro stations are planned for the airport.

Train – There will be a fast high speed train into Istanbul via the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge allowing people to travel between the European and Asian side of Istanbul and connecting Istanbul Airport with Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Asian side.

Connections at Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport will host more than 100 airlines flying to over 300 destinations. Turkish Airlines itself currently flies to 300 destinations in over 120 countries and in 2018 it carried more than 75 million passengers.

Istanbul Airport

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