February 8, 2018 / 11:45 AM / a year ago

Istanbul airport gains transit passenger share from Gulf

FILE PHOTO: The departure display board is pictured at the international departure terminal of Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Major airports in the Gulf are losing out to Istanbul on lucrative transfer traffic this year as Turkey recovers from security worries, according to data from travel data analysis company Forward Keys.

Turkey is enjoying a recovery in tourism demand, with tour operator Thomas Cook on Thursday calling it the standout destination for this summer.

“In addition to the success of various routes, Istanbul’s growth has been helped by a reduction in terrorist incidents in Turkey,” Forward Keys CEO Olivier Jager said.

Flight bookings for passengers changing planes in Istanbul in the first quarter of 2018 are currently up 21 percent compared with the same time last year, Forward Keys said.

Transfer bookings for Dubai are down 0.5 percent, while for Abu Dhabi they are 14 percent lower. Doha, which has been hit by an embargo from four other Arab nations, managed to keep transfer traffic flat, according to Forward Keys, which analyses more than 17 million flight booking transactions a day.

Passengers in transit can bring extra revenue for airports because they often spend their time shopping or eating.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Keith Weir

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