ISTANBUL – Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak landed at and visited Malaysia Airports’ wholly-owned Turkish asset, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) in Turkey on his way to the 13th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Istanbul. On hand to receive the Prime Minister were the Chairman of Malaysia Airports Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah and Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, as well as the management team of Malaysia Airports and ISG. Also present were the Foreign Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Republic of Turkey Dato’ Amran Mohamed Zin and representatives of the Turkish authorities.
The Prime Minister had toured the airport and while there, had also officiated the opening of the new Premium Lounge as well as the unveiling of the model for the proposed development of the boarding hall expansion at the airport.
ISG was fully acquired by Malaysia Airports in December 2014. However, Malaysia Airports early involvement in ISG had begun in 2008 when together with its consortium partners, it was awarded the concession to operate the airport for 20 + 2 years. ISG had been Europe’s fastest growing airport for the past seven years and in 2015 continued to record strong double digit growth of 19.7% to 28.3 million passengers (Domestic: 23.7%; International: 12.8%). The robust growth in passenger movements had also brought about an increase to its aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue which grew by 14.6% to RM873 million.
With its long-term growth potential, the airport is a strategic investment for Malaysia Airports. Its location presents a geographic advantage as it is able to capture the India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) market. Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, ISG also offers easy access to passengers via a direct link to the Trans-European Motorway. Besides private cars, multiple options are also available to travellers via intermodal transport which includes taxis, car rentals, public and private buses, sea buses and trains.
With a capacity of 33 million passengers per annum (mppa), it is the main hub for low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines and is also the second hub for Turkish Airlines. It has 56 other airlines operating from the airport serving 38 domestic and 108 international destinations.
ISG has also shown good track record in its passenger traffic movement growth registering strong double digit growth for the past several years. Its 2016 passenger traffic movement is forecasted at more than 10% growth. In light of this growth, the Turkish government is in the midst of constructing a second runway at the airport. Due to complete by 2018, it is expected to double ISG’s airside capacity.