The number of domestic passengers rose by 3 percent to 113 million while the number of international passengers was up 16.4 percent to 97.2 million, data from the State Airports Authority (DHMİ) showed on Jan. 6.
Total passenger traffic at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport increased by 6 percent last year to 68 million, with domestic passengers declining 2 percent and international travelers rising 10 percent.
Sabiha Gökçen Airport, also in Istanbul, saw a 9 percent increase in overall passenger trafficlast year.
Data also showed that the newly opened Istanbul Airport served 65, 124 domestic and 30,206 international passengers between Oct. 21 and Dec. 31.
Istanbul Airport was officially inaugurated on Oct. 29 last year.
In a sign that tourism activity remained strong, passenger traffic at the airport in Antalya, a popular tourist destination, increased by 22 percent to 31.6 million in 2018. International passenger traffic at the airport rose by 30 percent to 24 million passengers.
Similarly, the Gazipaşa Alanya, Muğla Dalaman and Muğla-Milas-Bodrum airports saw 48 percent, 23 percent and 20 percent increases in total passenger traffic last year. The number of international passengers at the Gazipaşa and Muğla-Milas-Bordum airports soared 84 percent and 64 percent, reaching 0.7 million and 1.5 million, respectively.
There were a total of 56 airports in Turkey as of the end of 2018.
Air passenger traffic has more than tripled over the past decade, soaring a staggering 166 percent between 2008 and 2018.
In 2008, Turkey’s airports served only 79 million passengers, but the figure gradually climbed to 103 million in 2010.
In 2013, the corresponding figure jumped to 149 million and reached 193 million in 2017.
The average annual increase in passenger traffic was 10.4 percent between 2008 and 2017.