Airport World - Joe Bates

The opening of the world’s first airport lounge for young travellers and a new innovation programme ensure that 2022 has got off to a good start for Istanbul Airport, writes Joe Bates.

Istanbul Airport has been grabbing the headlines since its much-heralded opening in April 2019, and it continues to shine, leading Europe’s traffic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and unveiling two pioneering new initiatives in the first quarter of 2022.

The airport – referred to as Istanbul Grand Airport by operator iGA Airport Operation (iGA) – handled 52 million passengers during the 10 months it was open in 2019, and was expected to welcome more than 90 million in 2020, when the global pandemic stopped international travel in its tracks.

Nevertheless, Istanbul Airport (IST) handled a creditable 23 million passengers in 2020 to become Europe’s busiest gateway and almost certainly held on to the crown last year when it accommodated an impressive 37.1 million passengers.

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