The FINANCIAL — Emirates touched down at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport last night, celebrating the launch of the airline’s second gateway in Istanbul.
With the launch of daily flights to Sabiha Gökçen Emirates has increased its overall capacity to Istanbul by 35 percent, offering a total of 18 flights per week to this popular business and tourism destination, according to Emirates.
Located on the Asian side of the bi-continental city of Istanbul, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport offers travellers convenient access to the city’s impressive cultural and historical sites. Helping more customers connect with Istanbul, Emirates new daily flights into Sabiha Gökçen have been well timed to maximise inbound connections from across the Far and Middle East as well as Africa and West Asia.
“We have been operating flights to Istanbul for more than 28 years and in that time have seen demand for our services grow exponentially. We are confident that both the passenger and cargo demand is strong enough to warrant Emirates operating to both of Istanbul’s airports,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation and Aeropolitical Affairs.
“As well as providing our passengers with greater flexibility in their travel plans to and from Turkey this new flight also signifies the introduction of First Class to our flights to Istanbul. There is high demand for this route and we are already seeing strong booking levels across all cabin classes from across our network.”
Gökhan Buğday, the CEO of Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport said, “With the launch of Emirates new daily flight we now have 51 airlines operating from our rapidly growing airport. This year we expect 28 million passengers to fly through Sabiha Gökçen and Emirates’ launch signifies yet another important and exciting milestone for us.”
Supporting Turkish Trade
The UAE and Turkey enjoy a strong trade relationship estimated to reach US$ 15 billion this year with this new service expected to further enhance economic ties between the two countries via increased transport links.
There are currently more than 500 Turkish companies operating out of the UAE including a number of Turkish construction companies who have played a key role in the construction of many of the buildings that make up Dubai’s skyline.
Emirates’ new daily service to Sabiha Gökçen will offer up to 12 tonnes of cargo per day in each direction. Air cargo has a vital role in many industries’ global supply chains and with Emirates’ extensive network across Asia, Africa and the Middle East this increase in cargo capacity is an important link in aiding the rapid delivery of goods to and from Istanbul.
The new daily flight is operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a three-class configuration offering 12 seats in First Class, 42 seats in Business Class, and 183 seats in Economy Class.
Emirates flight EK119 will depart Dubai at 17:15 and arrive in at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Istanbul at 20:15 daily. The return flight EK120 will leave Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Istanbul at 22:05, arriving in Dubai at 04:20 the next day.
Passengers heading to the European side of Istanbul can take advantage of regular coaches that operate between Sabiha Gokcen and Taksim Square every half hour, taking approximately 45 minutes.
In addition to the daily flight to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Emirates also operates 11 weekly flights to Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
Customers on Emirates flights enjoy the famed hospitality of its multi-national Cabin Crew, including Turkish, as well as gourmet cuisine and Emirates’ award-winning entertainment system. As with all Emirates flights, passengers also enjoy generous baggage allowances, 50kg in first Class, 40kg in Business Class and with 30 kg in Economy Class.
Istanbul is Emirates’ third international city to benefit from a duel airport operation, following London and Tokyo where the airline also operates from two different airports within the same city.