International Airport Review - Majid Khan
At the World Routes conference in Milan, International Airport Review Editor, Holly Miles, caught up with Majid Khan, Vice President Aviation Development at İGA İstanbul Airport. Together they discussed the airport’s recovery, how they are looking to grow their traffic and change how the world perceives them.
When the pandemic struck in early 2020, it was a moment of shock for the entire industry, as airport lounges emptied overnight and became eerily quiet. Despite this, İGA İstanbul Airport in Turkey hoped that travel would recover quite quickly – especially from the European Union, which made up 60 per cent of their traffic pre-pandemic. However, unfortunately Turkey was confined to the red list vs neighbouring countries, which they find highly unfair. Despite being a highly attractive tourist destination, being placed on the red list was a blow, as travellers had to quarantine when they returned to their country.
In response, Khan explained that they looked to develop other markets, which had less travel restrictions such as the Middle East, CIS countries and Russia. According to Khan, they also chose to continue with investments such as the construction of their third runway as while “this crisis is unprecedented, it is temporary, and traffic is going to recover.”