An aviation analyst told the British media that Turkey’s Istanbul Airport may emerge as Europe’s busiest airport hub, which would overtake London’s Heathrow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world during the last year.
The Independent News story
Late on Tuesday, Ralph Anker explained to Britain’s The Independent that: “airports in western Europe have lost a far higher proportion of passengers than their rivals in the east – Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.”
Anker said that the new mega-airport of Istanbul would likely become the busiest hub in the region, underlining that western European airports lagged behind in terms of recent passenger numbers.
He told the newspaper that: “While airports like Heathrow, which rely predominantly on international traffic, will recover eventually, by the time they do Istanbul's new unconstrained mega-airport is likely to have established itself as Europe's busiest airport.”
The article published explained that Istanbul Airport “is expected to be capable of processing 200 million passengers annually within a few years.”
European rankings of flight traffic
On April 14, Turkey’s Istanbul Airport maintained its lead in the latest European traffic charts, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) said last weekend, with 604 flights on a daily basis.
According to the more recent traffic report on flights, Istanbul Airport sat at 604 flights, with the Paris airport Charles de Gaulle second with 478 flights, Frankfurt Airport third with 474 flights and Amsterdam Airport fourth with 451 flights.
Coming in fifth was Madrid Barajas Airport with a total of 414 flights daily, followed by another airport in Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen Airport with 345 flights operating each day currently.
The report said that seven of Europe’s top 10 airports saw a fall in traffic back to the level that it was at pre-Easter break over the last two weeks.
Last year, Skytrax, a London-based air transport rating agency, awarded Istanbul Airport a five-star rating, giving it global recognition as one of the best airports.
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