Istanbul Airshow International Civil Aviation and Airports Exhibition, which has been held at Atatürk Airport since 1996 and is the longest-running organization of the Turkish Civil Aviation Industry, reopened its doors after a 4-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and welcomed its visitors for the 13th time between 6-8 October.
Opened with the participation of Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, the Exhibition brought together commercial aviation companies and aviation enthusiasts from all over the world, and the Turkish Defense and Aerospace Industry companies exhibited their local production aircraft.
Although it has not fully returned to its pre-COVID-19 pandemic days, the Civil Aviation Sector has now entered the recovery phase and started overcoming the pandemic's damaging effects. The recovery phase is expected to continue until 2025, and from 2025 onward, the global civil aviation sector will reach pre-COVID-19 figures. With more than 40,000 flights in September alone, airports in Türkiye (57) hosted 48 million domestic and foreign passengers in the first 9 months of 2022. The Turkish Civil Aviation Sector, which has grown above the world averages thanks to the increasing demands after the pandemic and the intensity of summer tourism, had the opportunity to convene at the Istanbul Airshow.
Bringing together the professionals of world aviation with local manufacturers and Turkish aviation companies in Istanbul, the opening of the Istanbul Airshow was held on October 6, 2022, with the participation of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, Director General of Civil Aviation Authority Prof. Dr. Kemal Yüksek, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines (THY) Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat, CEO of Turkish Airlines Bilal Ekşi, CEO of TAV Airports Serkan Kaptan.
In his speech at the opening of the 13th Istanbul Airshow, Minister Karaismailoğlu stated that he was pleased to be at the Istanbul Airshow, where developments in the aerospace industry will be discussed and which made significant contributions to the industry. Pointing out that more than US$183 Billion has been invested in Türkiye's transportation and communication infrastructure since 2002, Karaismailoğlu said that Türkiye had become a leading global aviation center in the Eurasia region with the bridges it has built in the sky. Noting that while there was chaos at European airports due to the increasing demand after the pandemic and the intensity of summer tourism, Karaismailoğlu underlined that Istanbul Airport and Turkish Airlines (THY) consolidated their place at the top of aviation, thanks to mega investments such as Istanbul Airport and the necessary measures taken.
Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines (THY), Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat, stated that after the pandemic, THY was among the top airlines that recovered from the crisis in the shortest time and reached fast growth figures again. "In 2023, when we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye and the 90th anniversary of our partnership, we will continue to advance towards our goal of reaching the top of civil aviation by combining our knowledge from our well-established history with the dynamism of the THY Family."
CEO of TAV Airports, Serkan Kaptan, drew attention to the progress of civil aviation in Türkiye in the last 20 years and underlined that thanks to the correct policies determined by Türkiye during the COVID-19 outbreak and the solidarity and cooperation of all the players in the Turkish Civil Aviation Sector, they managed to come out of the pandemic stronger.
After the speeches, Minister Karaismailoğlu, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat, and Serkan Kaptan cut the opening ribbon of the Istanbul AirShow Exhibition. Later, Minister Karaismailoğlu, together with Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bolat and CEO of Turkish Airlines Bilal Ekşi, visited the booths of the companies and examined the mock-up of the Airbus A220-300, Embraer E195-E2, Dassault Falcon 8X, and Falcon 6X business jets and the T625 GÖKBEY Helicopter on display and received information from company officials about aircraft.
At the Istanbul Airshow, which opened its doors for the 13th time this year, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus exhibited the mid-range single-aisle A220-300 model used by airBaltic, and the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer showed the E195-E2 model. Both planes are evaluated for Turkish Airlines' regional jet needs. THY is expected to procure 30 regional jet aircraft in the future. At the fair, the world's leading business jet manufacturers exhibited their new models, while flight schools displayed the aircraft they used and informed their visitors about the training they provided. At the Istanbul Airshow, 16 different types of aircraft, including the A220-300, E195-E2, Bombardier Global Express, Gulfstream G-500, Dassault Falcon 8X, and Cirrus Vision SF-50 business jets, as well as 5 Helicopters, including AW139, Bell 407, Bell 429, Airbus H130 and T625 GÖKBEY and AKSUNGUR UCAV. During the exhibition, Türkiye's only civilian female aerobatic pilot, Semin Öztürk Şener, also performed an aerobatic demonstration with her aircraft named Pitts S2B that captivated the audience.
During the Istanbul Airshow Fair, Keyvan Aviation signed an agreement with the world's leading avionic system manufacturer General Electric (GE) Aerospace, on October 6. With the agreement, Keyvan Aviation will provide the aeronautical and navigation database, analyzed and developed in line with Türkiye's National Technology Movement Strategy, to all airlines and operators using GE Aerospace's Flight Management System. On October 7, Turkish Technic signed a cooperation agreement with Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), an ST Engineering and Airbus joint venture, to convert A330 Aircraft into cargo versions (P2F). According to the agreement signed with the participation of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, the first A330P2F structural conversion work will be carried out in the third quarter of 2023 at Turkish Technic's facilities in Istanbul. The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Declaration Signing Ceremony was also held on October 7, with the participation of Turkish Airlines, Rolls-Royce, and Airbus. Starting to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel actively in its operations in 2022, THY has signed the Global SAF Declaration with Rolls-Royce and Airbus, underlining the importance it attaches to the issue and commitment to maximizing the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The Global SAF Declaration expresses a collaborative effort by aerospace and fuel industry partners to decarbonize sustainable aviation fuel. The declaration aims to decarbonize sustainable aviation fuels completely.