Istanbul Airport

  •  Last updated on 5 Oct 2023

Matti Blume, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport is the newest and largest airport in Turkey, serving as the country's primary international gateway. Located on the European side of Istanbul, the airport was officially opened in 2019 and has already become one of the busiest airports in Europe. It is also known as İstanbul Yeni Havalimanı airport. Istanbul IATA airport code is IST. “ISL” airport code refers to the now closed Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Istanbul Airport is one of two city’s international airports. Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, located on the Asian side of Istanbul, is the second one.

History of Istanbul Airport

The airport history dates back to its inception in 2013. It was built as part of a visionary project to create a world-class aviation hub that would not only meet the growing demand for air travel but also elevate Istanbul's status as a global metropolis. The airport was designed to replace the older Atatürk Airport, also located on the European side of Istanbul. The new Turkish Airport  features six runways and four terminals and was opened on 6 April 2019.

Getting to/from IST Airport

Situated on the outskirts of Istanbul, approximately 35 kilometers northwest of the city center, Istanbul Airport offers various transfer options to ensure easy access for travelers. The most convenient way to reach the airport is by taking advantage of the extensive public transportation network. The Istanbul Metro provides a direct connection from the city center to the airport, allowing passengers to travel swiftly and comfortably. Additionally, buses and shuttles operate regular services, connecting different parts of Istanbul to the airport.

For those preferring private transportation, taxis and car services are readily available throughout the city. Istanbul Airport offers ample parking facilities, making it convenient for travelers who prefer to drive themselves or rent a car upon arrival.

Facilities at the airport of Istanbul

Istanbul Airport has a huge terminal where both domestic and international flights are accommodated. The terminal is designed with passenger convenience in mind, offering a seamless travel experience from check-in to boarding. Inside the terminal, passengers can find a wide range of amenities, including duty-free shops, boutiques, lounges, restaurants, and cafes. Whether you're looking for last-minute souvenirs, a quick snack, or a leisurely meal, Istanbul Airport has you covered.

The airport also provides excellent facilities for those requiring additional services. There are several hotels located both nearby and inside the airport, offering comfortable accommodation for passengers with layovers or early-morning departures. Car rental services are also available, allowing travelers to explore Istanbul and its surrounding areas at their own pace.

As for security and customs procedures, Istanbul Airport ensures efficient and streamlined processes, making passenger transit as smooth as possible. From immigration checks to luggage claim, the airport employs modern technology and well-trained staff to expedite these processes, minimizing wait times and ensuring a hassle-free journey.

Flights & Airlines

In 2022, Istanbul Airport handled over 60 million passengers, serving as a hub for Turkish Airlines, which is one of the largest airlines in Europe. The airport is also served by a number of other airlines, including:

  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • British Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Oman Air

Istanbul Airport offers flights to more than 300 destinations worldwide, with popular destinations including:

  • Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport (ADB)
  • Antalya Airport (AYT)
  • Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA)
  • Ankara Esenboga International Airport (ESB)
  • Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV)
  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)


Our recent data indicates that 41 passengers departing from Istanbul Airport submitted their flight compensation claims for the amount of 19000 EUR for the last 7 days.

Data shown are estimates, based on internal databases.

Many of the airlines operating in Istanbul Airport adhere to the EU 261 regulation of 2004 (EC No 261/2004), which provides rights and protections to passengers in cases of flight delays, flight cancellations, and denied boarding. Under this regulation, passengers may be entitled to compensation, assistance, and reimbursement of expenses, depending on the circumstances of the flight disruption.

In case you have experienced a disrupted flight departing from or arriving at Istanbul Airport, you can easily check your flight compensation using the flight compensation calculator below.

This article relies on information from open sources for informational purposes only. While we have taken care to ensure accuracy, we cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. We are not liable for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information presented.

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