Turkey expects to see 123 million air passengers in 2021, jumping 50.7% from last year when the figure fell dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the country’s airport authority.

The largest rise is expected in international flight passengers, leaping 80.6% to 57.8 million in the same period, the State Airports Authority Directorate (DHMI) said in a revised report.

The report projected some 64.9 million passengers would take domestic flights this year, up 30.7% from 2020.

The number of passengers through Turkish airports – including transit passengers – was 81.7 million in 2020, down 61% year-on-year, as COVID-19 led to worldwide travel restrictions, border shutdowns, and an overall drop in consumer demand.

The figure is foreseen to hit 178.8 million next year and 203.7 million by the republic’s centennial year 2023, the report said.

It also expects an annual increase in plane traffic this year, saying that airports would serve 1.4 million planes this year, up from 1 million last year.

Air cargo traffic is also projected to climb to 3.5 million tons versus 2.4 million tons in 2020.

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