Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) has signalled its intention to step away from international services at Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen, transferring its overseas network to subsidiary AnadoluJet (TK, Ankara Esenboga), according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

The move makes sense for the Star Alliance carrier, as it will seek to concentrate its efforts on building its east-west hub at nearby Istanbul New. By contrast, Sabiha Gökcen is primarily a point-to-point airport, although, given the scale of Turkish Airlines' network from the facility, international passengers use it to transfer to its sizeable domestic operation.

AnadoluJet currently operates only two international flights, but from March 26, it will launch flights from Sabiha Gökcen to 26 new destinations in 16 new country markets:

A division of Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet's international network also includes services from Ankara Esenboga, Adana, Antalya, Gaziantep, Hatay, and Izmir to Ercan; and from Gaziantep to Erbil. AnadoluJet predominantly operates domestic routes from its bases at Sabiha Gökcen and in Ankara, as well as a limited number of domestic point-to-point routes bypassing either of the main hubs.

AnadoluJet, which does not have its own Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), deploys nineteen B737-800s chartered from Turkish Airlines and fourteen operated by SunExpress (XQ, Antalya). It is also in the process of adding a further six aircraft of the type (three ex-Ryanair and three ex-Norwegian), which will be operated by Turkish Airlines, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.