Turkey’s window on the world and a global HUB already in the first year of its operations, Istanbul Airport, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Airport Authority, which includes Shanghai Pudong and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airports of the People’s Republic of China, which welcome millions of passengers each year, and Incheon International Airport of South Korea. In addition to these agreements, Istanbul Airport has also reached sister airport agreements with Beijing Capital International Airport and the recently inaugurated Beijing Daxing International Airport.
Forging an aviation bridge!
Turkey has signed cooperation agreements with South Korea and China for establishing an information bridge in the field of aviation. Agreements have been reached between Istanbul Airport and these airports as regards effective mutual communication, sharing information, workforce rotation training and joint marketing activities, and in joint meetings it has been decided to collaborate on the advancement of customer experience services.
The parties will share their airport management, operations and general business experience so as to develop and strengthen their relationship, and also exchange information on terminal management, air side management, commercial management, architectural design, route development and electronic methods.
The advisor of the Istanbul Airport, Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea and the third best airport in the world according to 2018 data. With 68 million passengers each year, it has the distinction of being the 18th largest airport in passenger rankings and the 4th largest in cargo rankings. One of the most important airports of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing Capital International Airport, is the second largest airport in the world with more than 100 million passengers, and the 16th largest airport in cargo rankings.
Shanghai Pudong Airport is one of the airports affiliated with Shanghai Airport Authority and stands out as the 9th largest airport in the world with 16 million passengers and the 16th largest in cargo rankings. Beijing Daxing International Airport, which was inaugurated recently with a capacity of 72 million passengers, is another prominent international airport with which Istanbul Airport has reached a cooperation agreement.
Currently there are 14 flights per week between Turkey and South Korea. The number of flights between Turkey and China has risen from 27 to 36 now that Istanbul Airport has started to operate at full capacity. The target is to increase the number of flights between Turkey and China to 48 by 2020.
On the other hand, the number of Chines airlines flying to Istanbul Airport is planned to increase to 5 as China Eastern and Juneyao Airlines will also initiate flights in the summer of 2020, following in the footsteps of China Southern, Lucky and Sichuan Airlines.
Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board at iGA Airport Operations who visited South Korea and then the People’s Republic of China for a series of commercial activities and airport agreements, stated that the visits to the Asian continent are of great importance for Istanbul Airport: “We visited South Korea and China, and reached important agreements during beneficial meetings. As you know, Ankara is the sister city of Beijing and Seoul, and Istanbul is the sister city of Shanghai. The agreements signed by Istanbul Airport will further enhance these strong bonds.
“In a sense, through these agreements we are building an aviation bridge passing through the main destinations of the historical Silk Road. In this way, our airport, which functions as a global HUB, shall transfer the know-how that Turkish aviation has gained over the years onto the international arena. We were also very pleased to see that the agreement offers came from these airports.
“We have observed how we can better serve our passengers from China and South Korea, and we shall take the necessary measures. Our target is to take a much larger share from the passenger traffic to Europe, and to contribute to the Turkish tourism industry. We aim to welcome 1 million tourists from the People’s Republic of China in our country in 5 years, and turn Istanbul Airport into a transfer point for the approximately 15 million Chinese passengers traveling to Europe each year.”