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Ataturk Airport IST

Get Cheap International Flights To Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Turkey, ranking as the 10th busiest airport in the world. Atatürk Airport is considered a vitally important travel hub within the European travel sector and serves as the base of Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Airlines.

Originally named Yeşilköy Airport, it was renamed in honour of Turkey’s very first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In 2015 the airport served 61 million passengers and currently ranks as the 5th busiest airport in all of Europe.

Location of Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Opened in 1924 in Yeşilköy, on the European side of the city, Atatürk Airport is located 24km outside the city centre. The city’s smaller international airport, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, is located 35km outside central Istanbul, on the Asian side of the bi-continental city, and serves as the hub for Pegasus Airlines.

Today, you can fly to just about anywhere in the world from Atatürk Airport with national air carrier, Turkish Airlines, serving over 269 destinations worldwide.

International Flying times from Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Atatürk Airport supports an incredibly large international travel network, as well as an equally impressive domestic flight network within Turkey and the Middle East. Due to the extensive codeshare agreements supported by national air carrier, Turkish Airlines, you are able to fly to over 119 countries from Atatürk Airport. Some of the most popular flight routes include:

  • Istanbul to Berlin: 2 hour 50 minutes
  • Istanbul to Moscow: 3 hour 15 minutes
  • Istanbul to Dubai: 4 hours 27 minutes
  • Istanbul to Atlanta: 14 hours 10 minutes
  • Istanbul to Milan: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Istanbul to London: 3 hours 50 minutes
  • Istanbul to Paris: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Istanbul to Barcelona: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Istanbul to Johannesburg: 9 hours 45 minutes

Getting to and from Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Upon arrival at Atatürk Airport, travellers are offered three main options in getting to and from the airport:

Subway / Metro Rail

The national Metro rail service is available directly from the airport, while the Metro Line 1A will take travellers between Yenikapı and Atatürk International. The line also passes through some major parts of the European side of the city, including the intercity bus terminal.


The airport shuttle bus service is operated by Havatas, a major ground-handling company within Turkey, while the buses run every 30-minutes to major destinations such as Bakırköy, Yenikapı, Aksaray and Taksim Square. Municipal buses also run to Taksim, Etiler and Kozyatağı.

Metered taxis are readily available 24 hours a day at both airport terminals.

Accommodation around Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Istanbul is a city characterised not only by its vibrant history but also by its stunning cosmopolitan flair, so travellers are spoiled-for-choice when it comes to convenient accommodation options:

  • TAV Airport Hotel – 900m from airport
  • WOW Airport Hotel – 1.6km from airport
  • WOW Istanbul Hotel – 1.6km from airport
  • Rox Hotel – 1.7km from airport
  • Ramada Encore Istanbul Airport Hotel- 1.9km from airport
  • Florya Konagi Hotel – 1.9km from airport
  • Elite World Business – 2.1km from airport
  • Crown Plaza Istanbul – 2.2km from airport

Airlines servicing Istanbul Atatürk Airport

Due to Atatürk Airport’s centralised location and various international codeshare agreements, the airport is serviced by the following air carriers, delivering travellers to all major continents throughout the globe:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Air France
  • British Airways
  • EgyptAir
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Onur Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines

Overview of Istanbul Atatürk Airport

As of February 2017 Atatürk Airport operates a flight network which covers 273 destinations worldwide, serving the second-most destinations globally after Frankfurt Airport.

In order to handle the large amount of traveller traffic, the airport is divided into two large terminals which are both inter-connected. The airport’s domestic terminal focuses on domestic travel only and is the older, smaller terminal. The domestic terminal features its own check-in and airside facilities on the upper floor that leads to 12 departure gates.

The second terminal, which serves as the international travel terminal, was opened in 2000 and features a large main hall with 8 check-in aisles and a wide range of facilities from shops to restaurants and more. The departure area has 27 gates, while the arrivals floor is equipped with 11 luggage reclaim belts.

In 2013 Atatürk Airport was awarded the accolade for “Airport of the Year”, while also being named Europe’s Best Airport in the 40-50 million passengers per year category, at the 2013 Skytrax World Airport Awards.

Main services at Istanbul Atatürk Airport

  • Airport lounges
  • Airport Wi-Fi – free for 2 hours
  • Airport hotels
  • ATM’s and Bureau de change
  • Car hire
  • Disabled facilities
  • Duty free and shopping
  • Hairdresser
  • Hotel shuttles
  • Layover tours
  • Luggage storage and lockers
  • Massage parlours
  • Medical services
  • Pharmacy
  • Prayer rooms – 8 mosques
  • Showers available in Comfort and Primeclass Lounges

Discover Istanbul with Cheap International Flights

Step back in time and discover the ancient history which unfolds on every street corner when exploring Istanbul and the rest of Turkey. With Cheap International Flights you can find direct flights to Istanbul, departing from South Africa, with our search and book feature found on our website – your holiday is just a click away!

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