The primary gateway to Istanbul is Ataturk International Airport, the city’s major international airport. Located in Yesikoy, on the European side of the city, it's 15 km southwest of the city centre.
Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is another gateway into Istanbul, but with a smaller terminal capacity than Ataturk; Sabiha is on the Asian side of the bi-continental city. There are plans to expand traffic capacity to 10 million annual travellers for Istanbul flights, in order to keep up with the heavy influx of tourists.
The staff of Istanbul’s airports have their hands full, handling cargo and passenger traffic caused by Turkey’s booming economy and tourist trade; plans are underway to link both airlines with a metro system and an underground tunnel, with rail services linking the Asian and European parts of Istanbul. This is to ease congestion and improve traffic handling by both airports.
You can fly with Turkish Airlines, the national airline of Turkey, based on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Currently, Turkish Airlines has cheap flights to Istanbul for certain travellers, like a 25% discount for travellers aged 65 and above, and also for students on domestic flights. For travellers seeking budget flights to Istanbul, there's an economy rate promo for particular European stopovers, which change every week. Some short flights are also priced cheap.
SkyEurope is a budget airline that offers limited routes in Central Europe, including Istanbul; Air Berlin is another budget-fare carrier offering Istanbul flights.