The Istanbul Airport, which was inaugurated on Oct. 29 with a view to making the city a global aviation hub, is poised to be operating at full capacity in April with the transfer of all operations currently run at the city's first airport, Atatürk Airport. A number of airlines across the world are now planning to launch regular flights from the Istanbul Airport.
For many years, Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) has been the only carrier of flights between Turkey and Japan and no Japanese airlines has carried out flights from Istanbul. According to a report by the Turkish daily Habertürk, the Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways has recorded significant progress in preparations to launch Tokyo-Istanbul flights. The report also suggested that other cities might be added to the Japanese airline's list.
Saudi Gulf Airlines, the elite service provider and boutique carrier of Saudi Arabia, was also reported to start Damman-Istanbul flights at the new airport in October.
Kayhan Çolakel, CEO of Katera Tourism Group, which facilitated the launch of Oman Air's operations in Turkey, is now preparing to bring Oman's national flag carrier and low cost airline Salam Air to the country. Çolakel noted that the flights will be carried out on Airbus 320 aircraft three days a week before the holy month of Ramadan and every day after Ramadan from Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Anatolian side of the city. The airline will also offer flights to the eastern black sea province of Trabzon three days a week starting from June 1.
One of biggest Indian airlines, SpiceJet, is among airlines preparing to launch flights to Turkey. Spicejet is planning to start flights from Indian cities including New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, low-cost Indian carrier Indigo announced that it launched New Delhi-Istanbul flights yesterday. Indigo became the first Indian airline to hold regular flights to Turkey. Indigo Chief Commercial Officer William Boulter expressed the companies happiness to bridge the two countries. The first Indigo aircraft that took off in New Delhi landed around 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday at the Atatürk Airport, and the aircraft carried 178 passengers.