Your Path to Istanbul: Sabiha Gokcen Airport


If you like traveling, it means that you can have someplace to call home in each and every country around the world. Your “second home” in Istanbul can be the Sabiha Gokcen Airport. If you want to get to know more about this huge and wonderful gate to the world, you’ve come to the right place! Here, you will figure out everything you need to know about Sabiha Gokcen Airport such as the origin of the name of the airport, capacity, transportation, flights and more! All you need to do is to keep reading!



Megacities like Istanbul are always in need of big airports. Not only for domestic but also for international flights, airports play a great and important role worldwide. It is of the outmost importance for Istanbul. It is recorded that there have been more than 104 million passengers that visited Istanbul in 2019. To meet this popular demand, constructing airports with huge capacity is the best solution.

How Many Airports Are There in Istanbul?

To welcome 104 million visitors is not an easy thing to do. There are two international airports in Istanbul to make it easier. 

  1. Istanbul International Airport (IST)
  2. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW)

You might have heard about Istanbul Ataturk Airport and felt surprised or confused because you can’t see it in the list above. No need to feel surprised or get confused as Ataturk Airport was replaced by newly instructed Istanbul International Airport in April 2019. Ataturk International Airport used to be known as the busiest airport in Istanbul. However, after the construction of Istanbul International Airport, civil flights were stopped at Ataturk Airport. Since then, all domestic and international flights have been transferred to Istanbul International Airport.



Construction of Sabiha Gokcen International Airport

Sabiha Gokcek International Airport, also known as SAW, is the second airport in Istanbul. The construction was started in February 1998. It is known that the construction phase took a long time and cost a huge amount of money. Finally, the construction was finished in January 2001 and it cost 550 million dollars. Since 2001, SAW has served as a second home for visitors who fall in love with the natural and historical beauty of  Istanbul. 

Who is Sabiha Gokcen?

When it’s about Istanbul International Airport, it’s pretty easy to guess the origin of the name. However, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport might not make any sense to you as you need to know about Sabiha Gokcen first. Another reason that makes this airport more important and interesting is actually the origin of the name. The airport takes its name from Sabiha Gokcen and she is famous for being titled as the first-ever female fighter pilot in the world. The life story behind this courageous pilot catches so much attention. Born on 22 March 1913, in Bursa, Sabiha Gokcen was raised without a family. When she was young, she lost her family. She was always fond of improving and educating herself, therefore she showed her will to get an education to the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. As a result, Ataturk adopted this young, ambitious woman and helped her become a pilot. After getting the required education to become a pilot, she finally began flying a motor aircraft for the first time on 25 February 1936. Later on, she took an active part in an airstrike in Tunceli and served as a fighter pilot in 1937. Moreover, she flew alone to Balkans that lasted for 5 days and she visited important cities such as Athens, Sofia, and Belgrade. After the devastating loss of her father, Ataturk, she quitted her job as a pilot in the army and started working as a teacher at Turkish Flight School, officially known as Turkkusu Ucus Okulu. Unfortunately, she passed away on 22 March 2001 in Ankara. 



Where is Sabiha Gokcen International Airport?

Sabiha Gokcen Airport is located in the Pendik neighborhood in Istanbul. Istanbul is a city divided into two sides: The European Side and The Anatolian Side. While Istanbul Airport is located in the European Side, Sabiha Gokcen Airport is actively serving to visitors in the Anatolian Side of Istanbul.

To get further information you can call or visit the airport via the contact information below:
Address: Sanayi, 34906 Kurtkoy Pendik/Istanbul
Phone Number: (0216) 588 88 88
Web Site: https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/homepage

Moreover, you can send your questions, suggestions, complaint or thanks by filling a contact form on the official website. Just click the link below to reach the form page directly.
https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/corporate-info/contact-form

Through this form, you can contact the authorized any time you want to inform them about your problems or questions. All you need to do this to give your own required contact information including your name, surname, airline title, your phone number, email address. After that, they will get in contact with you as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to make sure that you try to contact the authorized within office hours. It is between 8 in the morning, 5:30 in the afternoon. 



How Far Is Sabiha Gokcen Airport From Istanbul?

While living or traveling to a big city can sometimes be a disadvantage as transportation usually takes a long time. However, the abundance of transportation options is always in your favor. Depending on the place that you’re coming from, distance can change from Sabiha Gokcen Airport. 

  1. If you’re coming from Kadikoy or going to Kadikoy, it is 25 miles away from the airport.
  2. If you’re coming from Pendik or going to Pendik, it is 8 miles from the airport. 
  3. If you’re coming from Taksim or going to Taksim, it is 31 miles from the airport.

How to Get to Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

A huge variety of options are offered to you when you want to get to Sabiha Gokcen Airport. If a private car is not an option for you, you can consider getting there by taxi, renting a car or using public transportation like bus, shuttle, and train. If you want to use the seaway, you can prefer a sea bus too. 

  1. If you decide to drive to the airport in your private car: You will need to use the highway. The highway that will lead you to the airport is called TEM.  After driving for 3 miles, you will reach the airport.
    a. If you’re coming from the seashore: You can arrive at the airport by following the signs that lead to the airport.

If you’re driving your private car and don’t know where to park your car while you’re out of town, no need to worry as there are parking lots around the airport. This service is also provided by the airport itself. Don’t forget that you need to pay an amount of money for this service. The fees can change according to the type of car and the duration. Here are the fees that you need to pay for parking your car at the parking lot:

Cars:

0-1 Hour: 16,75 Turkish Lira (2,60 dollars)
1-3 Hours: 21,75 Turkish Lira (3,37 dollars)
3-6 Hours: 34 Turkish Lira (5,25 dollars)
6-12 Hours: 40,50 Turkish Lira (6,28 dollars)
12-24 Hours: 54 Turkish Lira (9 dollars)

Truck / Bus:

0-1 Hour: 17,75 Turkish Lira (2,75 dollars)
1-3 Hours: 24,50 Turkish Lira (3,80 dollars)
3-6 Hours: 30 Turkish Lira (4,65 dollars)
6-12 Hours: 38 Turkish Lira (5,89 dollars)
12-24 Hours: 51,35 Turkish Lira (7,96 dollars)

Motorcycle:

0-1 Hour: 8,50 Turkish Lira (1,32 dollars)
1-3 Hours: 11 Turkish Lira (1,70 dollars)
3-6 Hours: 17 Turkish Lira (2,63 dollars)
6-12 Hours: 20.50 Turkish Lira (3,18 dollars)
12-24 Hours: 27 Turkish Lira (4,18 dollars)



You can also calculate the car fee that you need to pay on the official web site:
https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/passengers-and-visitors/transport-and-parking/parking/carpark-fee-calculator

2. If you prefer a shuttle: A shuttle service called HAVABUS is provided. There are timetables for each shuttle according to shuttle stops. These stops are generally in the most crowded neighborhoods in Istanbul.  

The service fee for these shuttles can change from 10 Turkish Liras (1,55 dollars) to 15 Turkish Liras (2,32 dollars).

Here are the timetables:

Sabiha Gokcen Airport – Kadikoy Direction:

04:00 – 04:30 – 05:00 – 05:30 – 06:00- 06:30 – 07:00 – 07:30 – 08:00 – 08:30 – 09:00 – 09:30 – 10:00 – 10:30 – 11:00 – 11:30 – 12:00 – 12:30 – 13:00 – 13:30 – 14:00 – 14:30 – 15:00 – 15:30 – 16:00 – 16:30 – 17:00 – 17:30 – 18:00 – 18:30 – 19:00 – 19:30 – 20:00 – 20:30 – 21:00 – 21:30 – 22:00 – 22:30 – 23:00 – 23:30 – 00:00 – 00:30 – 01:00

Kadikoy – Sabiha Gokcen Airport: 

04:15 – 04:45 – 05:15 – 05:45 – 06:15- 06:45 – 07:15 – 07:45 – 08:15 – 08:45 – 09:15 – 09:45 – 10:15 – 10:45 – 11:15 – 11:45 – 12:15 – 12:45 – 13:15 – 13:45 – 14:15 – 14:45 – 15:15 – 15:45 – 16:15 – 16:45 – 17:15 – 17:45 – 18:15 – 18:45 – 19:15 – 19:45 – 20:15 – 20:45 – 21:15 – 21:45 – 22:15 – 22:45 – 23:15 – 23:45 – 00:15 – 00:45

Sabiha Gokcen Airport – Taksim: 

04:00 – 04:30 – 05:00 – 05:30 – 06:00- 06:30 – 07:00 – 07:30 – 08:00 – 08:30 – 09:00 – 09:30 – 10:00 – 10:30 – 11:00 – 11:30 – 12:00 – 12:30 – 13:00 – 13:30 – 14:00 – 14:30 – 15:00 – 15:30 – 16:00 – 16:30 – 17:00 – 17:30 – 18:00 – 18:30 – 19:00 – 19:30 – 20:00 – 20:30 – 21:00 – 21:30 – 22:00 – 22:30 – 23:00 – 23:30 – 00:00 – 00:30 – 01:00

Taksim – Sabiha Gokcen Airport:

03:30 – 04:00 – 04:30 – 05:00 – 05:30 – 06:00- 06:30 – 07:00 – 07:30 – 08:00 – 08:30 – 09:00 – 09:30 – 10:00 – 10:30 – 11:00 – 11:30 – 12:00 – 12:30 – 13:00 – 13:30 – 14:00 – 14:30 – 15:00 – 15:30 – 16:00 – 16:30 – 17:00 – 17:30 – 18:00 – 18:30 – 19:00 – 19:30 – 20:00 – 20:30 – 21:00 – 21:30 – 22:00 – 22:30 – 23:00 – 23:30 – 00:00 – 00:30 – 01:00

3. If you prefer the sea bus: Sabiha Gokcen Airport is 9 miles away from the sea bus pier. To get more information about the time schedule, click the link below or you can call directly. 
https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/passengers-and-visitors/transport-and-parking/transportation/sea-bus

Phone Number: +90 212 444 44 36

4. If you prefer the metro: You can use metro from these stops: 
Kadikoy, Ayrilikcesme, Acibadem, Unalan, Goztepe, Yenisahra, Kozyatagi, Bostanci, Kucukyali, Maltepe, Huzurevi, Gulsuyu, Esenkent, Hastane/Adliye, Soganlik, Kartal, Yesilbaglar, Pendik ve Tavsantepe.

5. If you prefer taxis: It might cost much more but getting to the airport by taxi is still a good option especially when you have heavy baggage. Depending on your departure neighborhood, money that you need to pay can change. Here are some possible and popular departure points and how much they cost to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. 



If your departure point is Kadikoy: You need to pay 98 Turkish Liras (15 dollars) for the taxi. Don’t forget that it’s an average price, there might be some changes. It will take 30 minutes to get to SAW approximately. 

If your departure point is Taksim: You need to pay 132 Turkish Liras (20 dollars) for the taxi. Don’t forget that it’s an average price, there might be some changes. It will take 38 minutes to get to SAW approximately. 

If your departure point is Sariyer: You need to pay 169 Turkish Liras. (25 dollars) dor taxi. Don’t forget that it’s an average price, there might be some changes. It will take 41 minutes to get to SAW approximately. 

If your departure point is Fatih: You need to pay 160 Turkish Liras (23 dollars) for the taxi. Don’t forget that it’s an average price, there might be some changes. It will take 38 minutes to get to SAW approximately. 

On the official website for Sabiha Gokcen Airport, you can find a transportation map. This map shows you the ways and alternatives to get to the airport easily. Check the map: 
https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/ulasimharitasi/map.html

Which Airport Is Closer?

Depending on the place that you are at might cause some changes in the answer to this question. As you read it below, Sabiha Gokcen Airport is in Pendik neighborhood. On the other hand, Istanbul Airport is located in Arnavutkoy neighborhood. This means that Sabiha Gokcen Airport is on the Anatolian Side while Istanbul Airport is on the European Side. If your departure point is on the Anatolian side, it will take a shorter time to get to Sabiha Gokcen airport. Therefore, before landing in Istanbul, don’t forget to plan your voyage properly as transportation can sometimes be difficult in Istanbul. 



What Is the Difference Between the Two Airports?

Istanbul and Sabiha Gokcen Airports are literally the welcome teams of Istanbul. Before the beautiful Istanbul Strait, our glorious airports welcome you in Istanbul. What they have in common is not limited to this, for sure. But what makes them different makes an even longer list. 

  1. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is older than Istanbul Airport. Istanbul Airport is a newly built airport in Istanbul. It was opened to visitors in 2018. However, the history of Sabiha Gokcen Airport dates back to older times. It was opened in 2001. 
  2. Their location is also another reason why they are different. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is on the Anatolian Side, on the other hand, Istanbul Airport is on the European Side.
  3. Local people in Istanbul mostly think that it is easier to reach Istanbul Airport than Sabiha Gokcen Airport. It might be because it is on the European Side and there are many more options for transportation. 
  4. Although the length of the landing fields of the two airports is almost the same, the amount of the landing fields is different. While Sabiha Gokcen Airport has 2 landing fields, Istanbul Airport has 6. 
  5. You might observe some differences in the number of visitors too. Reportedly, Sabiha Gokcen Airport hosts 66 million visitors each year while Istanbul Airport hosts 90 million. 
  6. You can only find direct flights to your destination when you choose Istanbul Airport. If you’re flying from Sabiha Gokcen Airport, you might not find non-stop flights. This means that it will cost much more money.

Which Airport Is Better?

As I listed the similarities and differences above, it might seem to you that Istanbul Airport is a more popular option and this makes it better but in fact, the answer to this question can change depending on your demand. As Istanbul Airport is newly built, it is brand new, bigger and more crowded and you can find more options for flights too. However, Sabiha Gokcen Airport can be a better option for you If you’re coming from the Anatolian Side. It will cost less money and less time to get to the airport. After finishing reading all, you will find your own answer to this question.



What Do Airlines Fly From Sabiha Gokcen Airport?

There are 20 airlines fly from Sabiha Gokcen Airport. These airlines can have flights for either domestic or international flights or both. Here is the list of these 20 airlines: 

  1. Air Arabia (For further information: www.airarabia.com)
  2. Air Manas (For further information: www.airmanas.com)
  3. Anadolu Jet (For further information: www.anadolujet.com)
  4. Atlas Global (For further information: www.atlasglb.com)
  5. Azerbaijan Airlines (For further information: www.azal.az.)
  6. Buta Airways (For further information: www.butaairways.az)
  7. Corendon (For further information: www.corendon.aero)
  8. Emirates (For further information: www.emirates.com)
  9. Fly Baghdad (For further information: www.flybaghdad.net)
  10. Fly Dubai (For further information: www.flydubai.com)
  11. Flynas (For further information: www.flynas.com)
  12. Iraqi Airways (For further information: www.iraqiairways.com.iq)
  13. Jordan Aviation (For further information: www.jordanaviation.jo)
  14. Nile Air (For further information: www.nileair.com)
  15. Pobeda (For further information: www.pobeda.aero/en)
  16. Pegasus (For further information: www.flypgs.com)
  17. Royal Wings (For further information: www.royalwings.com.jo)
  18. Qatar Airways (For further information: www.qatarairways.com/tr/tr)
  19. Sun Express (For further information: www.sunexpress.com)
  20. Turkish Airlines (For further information: www.turkishairlines.com)

Keep it in mind that among the airlines listed above, only Turkish Airlines and Emirates have flights to the U.S.

What’s the Cheapest Month to Fly to Istanbul?

According to the acquisition rates, January is the cheapest and July is the most expensive month to fly to Istanbul. As a result of the harsh weather conditions, working period and some other reasons, the prices and demand are lower in January. On the other hand, during summer, as people are on vacation, they want to visit different places and this puts the demand in a higher position. Higher demand always means higher prices so July is the most expensive month to fly to Istanbul. In January the average price is 800 dollars and in July it can go up to 1200 dollars. 

The Capacity of Sabiha Gokcen Airport

  1. Sabiha Gokcen Airport is located in a 2152782ft² area. 
  2. There are 128 counters for check-in and self-check-in kiosks.
  3. There are 74 passport counters for foreign visitors.
  4. There is a huge VIP Lounge which connected to the terminal building.
  5. There is a big conference hall.
  6. There is an airport hotel with 128 rooms.
  7. There is a parking lot for 4718 vehicles and 72 buses. 
  8. There is a duty-free shop in 48437.59ft² area from which you can buy textile products, electronic devices or cosmetics.


Terminal Guide

In a huge airport like Sabiha Gokcen Airport, you can find different alternatives to spend some time until your flight time. You can eat, buy a book or a ticket, you can even get your hair done! Here are the shops that you can visit until your flight.

  1. Flower Shop: If you want to buy some flowers for your loved ones, there is a flower shop at Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
  2. Pharmacy: It’s essential for an airport to have a pharmacy inside. In case of an emergency, you can go and take your medicine from this pharmacy shop.
  3. Banks: We need money especially when we’re at an airport. To withdraw money or for other procedures, there are two banks at SAW. These banks are Turkiye Is Bankasi and Yapi Kredi Bankasi. 
  4. Rent-a-car Office: If you need to rent a car before leaving the airport, there are more than ten different rent-a-car offices at the airport.
  5. Post Office: PTT (Turkish National Post Office) is located in SAW If you need to send a mail or a card about Istanbul without leaving the airport.
  6. Hairdresser: If you need a quick hair cut or If you want to look good after getting off the plane, there is also a hairdresser at the airport.
  7. Ticket Office: You can buy a ticket from these offices for a different flight.
  8. Some Other Shops: 


Salkim Bufe (If you feel hungry and need to eat something)
Bazaar Istanbul
TS Club Corner: Official Store for Trabzonspor (If you want to buy a jersey or any other things related to the Turkish Soccer Teams)
BJK Kartal Yuvasi: Official Store for Besiktas (If you want to buy a jersey or any other things related to the Turkish Soccer Teams)
Fenerium: Official Store for Fenerbahce (If you want to buy a jersey or any other things related to the Turkish Soccer Teams)
GS Store: Official Store for Galatasaray (If you want to buy a jersey or any other things related to the Turkish Soccer Teams)
(Before buying a jersey, If you want to know more about Turkish Soccer Teams click the link:
https://goodistanbulguide.com/istanbul-soccer-teams/ )
Zumrut Jewellery (You can buy beautiful handmade earrings, necklaces or rings as a gift for the loved ones or for yourself!)
Turk Telekom
Turkcell (Turk Telekom, Turkcell, and Vodafone shops are there for you If you need a new phone number that you can use in Turkey)
Vodafone

Moreover, on the official website for Sabiha Gokcen Airport, there are 3D maps and images for you to find your direction at the airport. There are different maps for both arrivals and departures. You can find the maps on the link below. 
https://www.sabihagokcen.aero/passengers-and-visitors/passenger-guide/terminal-plans



Resting Units

In Sabiha Gokcen Airport, there are rooms for passengers that are coming or going abroad. It simply means that If you feel tired and want to have rest at the airport, Sabiha Gokcen Airport provides you a comfortable room. You can hire and pay for this room on an hourly basis. Unfortunately, these rooms are available for just one person. It means that male and female passengers are expected to have rest in separate rooms. There are 18 rooms for men while only 10 rooms for women are available. You can fulfill your daily needs such as sleeping, relaxing or taking a shower in these rooms. You can even watch TV and you will have an internet connection.

Last but not least, with its different alternatives, Sabiha Gokcen Airport is a big place. Either coming or going, Sabiha Gokcen Airport is a path that you will eventually come across If you are planning to visit Istanbul. Thankfully, it is a huge airport for many visitors and it has a huge amount of facilities inside. From the origin of its name to its wide variety of airline alternatives, Sabiha Gokcen Airport is waiting for you If Istanbul is your next stop!

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

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