Tuesday’s attack on Istanbul’s main international hub is the third against commercial aviation in less than a year. Murad Sezer / Reuters
Tuesday’s attack on Istanbul’s main international hub is the third against commercial aviation in less than a year. Murad Sezer / Reuters

Airport bombing hurts Turkey’s aviation hub ambitions

The terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on Tuesday is a massive setback to Turkey’s ambitions of making it an aviation hub rivalling those in the Arabian Gulf.

Turkish Airlines, which gets 60 per cent of its revenue from transit passengers, wants to turn Istanbul to a global transit hub to the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Istanbul is also building a new airport that will open in 2018. The new airport will serve more than 80 million passengers a year to begin with, with plans to eventually expand to 150 million at a later stage.

“If you were using Istanbul to connect to another flight, there are alternatives,” said Paul Hayes, a safety specialist at the London-based aviation consultancy Ascend Worldwide.

He said this could bring more passengers to other transit hubs in the region such as Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi.

Tuesday’s attack on Istanbul’s main international hub, which left at least 40 people dead and another 200 people injured, is the third against commercial aviation in less than a year.

In March, the terrorist group ISIL carried out suicide attacks on Brussels Airport and the city’s metro, leaving 31 dead and 300 injured. Before that, a terrorist bomb exploded in a Russian airliner in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has called on governments to improve safety measures following such attacks.

“This tragedy in Istanbul and the one in Brussels earlier this year show that there is a growing challenge for governments to keep people safe in the landside parts of the airport,” said Tony Tyler, the director general of Iata, an organisation that represents 260 airlines.

“Moving people airside more quickly can help to mitigate risk. The industry has a number of initiatives in place to achieve that aim and we are working with governments and airports to implement them,” he added.


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"Whatever the initial intent, what took place at many of these gatherings and the
way in which they developed was not in line with Covid guidance at the time.

"Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen. It is also the case that some of the
more junior civil servants believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders. 

"The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture. 

"I found that some staff had witnessed or been subjected to behaviours at work which they had felt concerned about but at times felt unable to raise properly.

"I was made aware of multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff. This was unacceptable." 

Quick pearls of wisdom

Focus on gratitude: And do so deeply, he says. “Think of one to three things a day that you’re grateful for. It needs to be specific, too, don’t just say ‘air.’ Really think about it. If you’re grateful for, say, what your parents have done for you, that will motivate you to do more for the world.”

Know how to fight: Shetty married his wife, Radhi, three years ago (he met her in a meditation class before he went off and became a monk). He says they’ve had to learn to respect each other’s “fighting styles” – he’s a talk it-out-immediately person, while she needs space to think. “When you’re having an argument, remember, it’s not you against each other. It’s both of you against the problem. When you win, they lose. If you’re on a team you have to win together.” 

A German university was a good fit for the family budget

Annual fees for the Technical University of Munich - £600

Shared rental accommodation per month depending on the location ranges between  £200-600

The family had budgeted for food, books, travel, living expenses - £20,000 annually

Overall costs in Germany are lower than the family estimated 

As proof that the student has the ability to take care of expenses, international students must open a blocked account with about £8,640

Students are permitted to withdraw £720 per month