Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport Shows Encouraging Recovery In H1 2021

Sabiha Gokcen Airport

The Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (ISG), has shown encouraging recovery in the first half of 2021with total passenger traffic movements at 53% of pre-COVID-19 levels and an average load factor of 70% for its flights.

Airports Council International (ACI) had also ranked the airport as the 4th busiest in Europe within the same period.  

Recovery remains optimistic for the second half of the year in tandem with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) outlook of strong traffic return by the 4Q21 in countries with high vaccine rollouts such as Turkey with 51% of its total population currently vaccinated.



As recently as August 2021, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) had also ranked Turkey as the 6th busiest country in Europe for air traffic.

Additionally, Turkey has recently been added to European Union (EU) COVID-19 Passport scheme meant to facilitate the reopening of economic and social activities including travel.

The Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (ISG) is fully owned by Malaysia Airports. 

Group Chief Executive Officer (Group CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said that ISG is a significant contributor to the Group’s recovery, “Traffic recovery in ISG is more robust compared to our Malaysia operations. For ISG, passenger movements rose by 17.6% in 1H21 over 1H20, whereas it had contracted by 84.6% for our Malaysia operations over the same period. Nevertheless, both countries are achieving commendable vaccination rates. More than 50% of the adult population in Malaysia has received completed doses and we can expect to achieve public immunity by October 2021. With this, we can expect traffic conditions to improve as interstate border restrictions may be further relaxed by year end.”


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