British Airways has launched flights between Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Istanbul’s Asian side and London’s Heathrow.
The inaugural flight touched down on Sabiha Gökçen on June 1.
The new route between Sabiha Gökçen and Heathrow will operate four times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays on a mix of A320 and A321 aircraft,the Turkish airport said in a statement.
To commemorate the airport’s namesake British Airways’ inauguration flight had an all-female crew. Sabiha Gökçen Airport was named after the world’s first female fighter pilot.
Sabiha Gökçen serves 154 destinations, including 115 international and 39 domestic routes, in 51 countries, said Berk Albayrak, the airport’s CEO.
In addition to British Airways, Turkish low-cost carrier also launched flights from Sabiha Gökçen to the airports on Greece’s Rhodes and Lesbos islands in June, according to Albayrak.
Sabiha Gökçen with 41 million passenger capacity is the second busiest airport in Turkiye and nineth busiest in Europe, he noted.
It was named the world’s fastest growing airport for seven consecutive years between 2009 and 2015.
Sabiha Gökçen served nearly 11 million passengers in the first four months of 2023, rising 26 percent compared with the same month of last year, according to the data from the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ).
Domestic passenger traffic at the airport grew 16 percent annually to 4.98 million, while the international passenger tally rose by 37 percent to 5.7 million.
Commercial plane traffic was up 14 percent to nearly 67,000, with international plane traffic rising 20 percent year-on-year to around 36,000.