Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said that the number of flights including the transits which crossed Turkey's airspace last year increased by 4.5 percent compared to 2016.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday, Minister Arslan informed that a plane crossed Turkey's airspace every 16 seconds in 2017. He said that there has been a significant increase in the number of passengers traveling by plane in Turkey, which has become one of the fastest growing countries in this field with the investments and decisions put into practice for the civil aviation infrastructure.
The minister pointed out that the number of passengers carried by air in the last decade grew by an average of 10.3 percent annually, reporting that the number of passengers rose from 79.9 million in 2008 to 193.3 million last year.
He recalled that only Turkish Airlines (THY) carried out scheduled flights from two centers to 26 points countrywide in 2002, while over the past 15 years, six airline companies executed domestic flights from seven centers to a total of 55 points.
Stressing that flights were scheduled to only 60 destinations in 50 countries in 2003, while this figure rose to 296 points in a total of 119 countries as of the end of last year, Arslan said this data shows that Turkey's aviation sector grows rapidly with each passing day.
Arslan said that 67 percent of the airplanes that both landed at and departed from the Turkish airports last year were commercial flights, and that the number of these flights rose by 3.2 percent from 699,166 to 721,740 by the end of 2016.
Noting that while the number commercial flights increased by 6.2 percent from 535,469 to 568,809 in international lines, the minister said the said figures increased by 4.5 percent from 1.2 million to 1.3 million throughout Turkey.
Arslan pointed to an increase in both domestic and international aircraft traffic by the end of 2017, explaining that domestic airplane traffic increased by 2.8 percent from 886,228 in 2016 to 910,684 in 2017, while the international airline traffic surged by 3.8 percent from 566,767 to 588,435 in 2017.
The minister also added that the number of transit flights crossing Turkey's airspace increased by 9.6 percent. He indicated that 413,097 transit flights crossed Turkey's airspace last year. "Therefore, Turkey's airspace hosted a total of 1.9 million aircrafts last year," he concluded.
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