Budget airline to launch Manchester route to Istanbul

Istanbul's Blue Mosque

A summer link between Manchester and Istanbul, in Turkey, has been announced by budget carrier easyJet.

The first flight will take off June 9, and operate twice a week on Mondays and Fridays throughout the year. This will be the first time the airline will operate to the Istanbul Airport in Turkey’s largest city, which becomes the 156th destination on easyJet’s extensive short-haul network spanning Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Istanbul will be in addition to existing popular services from Manchester to Antalya and Dalaman.

It joins other destinations Bodrum, Antalya, Dalaman and Izmir on easyJet’s Turkey network and promises to offer customers something uniquely different.

Straddling two continents, and famously known as the city where East meets West, easyJet’s newest destination boasts a rich history and will offer customers a variety of experiences, from the old city which reflects cultural influences of many historic empires, to world-famous landmarks like the Blue Mosque, while bargain hunters can stroll the iconic Grand Bazaar.

Along with the route, new package holidays have gone on sale with tour operator, easyJet holidays.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, said: “The new route from our Manchester base to this iconic city further expands the choice we can offer our customers from the North West for both flights and package holidays, and promises to offer travellers a vibrant and culturally rich destination to explore, as well as providing greater connectivity to the city to support inbound tourism and business travel alike.

“While this region has thankfully not been affected by the recent tragic earthquakes, we continue to collect donations onboard our flights for UNICEF’s emergency appeal. We would like to thank all of our customers who have already donated for their kindness and generosity in raising over £400,000, which will help UNICEF and their volunteers to continue providing a vital lifeline in the region for the children and families who have been affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.”

Chris Woodroofe, managing director at Manchester Airport, said: “This new service is great news for travellers – easyJet has already announced that it will be basing an additional aircraft here at Manchester this summer, and the expansion of its route network demonstrates the strength of demand for leisure travel in our region, in spite of cost-of-living pressures.”

Arzu Kahraman Yilmaz, counsellor of The Turkish Culture and Information Office, said: “Istanbul has long been a popular destination with British visitors, and we very much welcome easyJet’s new route from Manchester. We are confident it will prove popular with those seeking to immerse themselves in culture in this vibrant city.”