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New Route of the Day (9 February 2024): Batik Air Malaysia between Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul SAW


Batik Air Malaysia commenced flights between Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul SAW on Friday 9 February. At 8,335-kilometres, it is the carrier’s longest route, operated 4-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays with the 377-seat A330-300 aircraft. Although it does not face any direct competition, Turkish Airlines maintains 2-daily flights between Istanbul IST and Kuala Lumpur.

Flight OD723 departs Kuala Lumpur at 17:00 local time, arriving in Istanbul SAW at 23:10 local time. The return service, operating as flight OD724, takes off from the Turkish airport at 00:40 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, touching back down in the Malaysian capital at 16:35 local time.

What they said

Datuk Chandran Rama Muthy, Batik Air Group CEO, said: “This journey not only strengthens the bond between Malaysia and Türkiye but also marks a significant milestone in Batik Air’s journey towards connecting people and cultures across borders. With the introduction of this new route, we take pride in providing our passengers with increased options for effortless travel between Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul, and eagerly anticipate welcoming more travellers aboard. Sabiha Gokcen Airport was carefully selected as an excellent gateway to explore Istanbul and its surroundings. Its strategic location ensures easy access to the city’s most iconic attractions and provides a seamless travel experience for our passengers.”

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Istanbul SAW’s longest flight

Istanbul SAW is heavily driven by LCCs Pegasus Airlines and AJet, the latter being a unit of Turkish Airlines. Batik Air Malaysia’s new Kuala Lumpur service becomes Istanbul SAW’s longest route, over double the length of second-placed Karachi at 3,920 kilometres. The airport is also the world’s busiest with the lowest proportion of wide-body services. The only other airlines deploying wide-body equipment to Istanbul SAW on a scheduled basis are Qatar Airways and Kuwait Airways.

Istanbul SAW welcomed over 37 million passengers in the calendar year of 2023, its highest volume to date, making it among Europe’s busiest airports. It was the second year to have more international passengers than domestic.

Istanbul SAW now serves 129 destinations

When all airlines are considered, Istanbul SAW has non-stop flights to 129 destinations in Q1, including 37 in Türkiye. Some 45 foreign countries are served, with more seat capacity deployed to Germany than anywhere else. Thanks to the recent addition of Dortmund, 10 airports are now served in Germany, distantly followed by another six countries with four destinations: Egypt, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.

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