There’s only one airline offering flights to Turkey from Manchester. All flights need to pass through Istanbul so if you have some flexibility, fly directly into Istanbul and then take a local form of transportation to get to your destination. If you need to get to the Turkish Riviera, a good idea is to ask for a charter flight when you book the hotel.
Do remember that you need a visa to travel to Turkey. UK citizens can get a sticker type visa (valid for 3 months) once they get to the entry point. If you are a US, Australian or Canadian citizen flying to Turkey from Manchester, you can also get the sticker type visa once you land in Turkey. Other nationals can obtain the visa from the Turkish embassies.
Turkey’s main airport is Ataturk International Airport, located in Istanbul. To get from the airport to the city center, there are several choices: light rail, bus and taxi. The travel times really depend on the traffic (which is congested pretty much all the time).
However, Istanbul’s smaller airport Sabiha Gökçen Airport receives most of the low-cost flights. During the summer, Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport gets quite a lot of charter traffic both from abroad and to the Turkish Riviera.
Manchester International Airport is the largest British airport outside London. It receives flights from about 100 airlines, including low-cost ones.
Best airline choices
The only regular airline providing a non-stop flight to Istanbul from Manchester is Turkish Airlines. If you need to fly to Ankara from Manchester, the only choice is Turkish Airlines as well but you’ll be making a stop in Istanbul.
Since all flights to Turkey from Manchester pass through Istanbul, the cheapest fare is for that leg of the trip. During the summer – when everyone seems to want to get to the Turkish Riviera – the prices start around £350 for a round trip flight. While outside the summer season (spring and fall) prices start at £125 for a round trip flight.
Money saving tips
If you have flexibility you can look into flying to Istanbul from Manchester and then taking a local form of transportation to get to your final destination. But make sure to check the flights into Ankara and Antalya as well, since in some cases the difference is not that high (although both require a stop along the way).
Try to fly mid-week as prices are lower on Wednesdays than during the weekend.
Make sure to book your ticket in advance. But don’t book too far in advance either. Look for different dates before choosing the best date to fly. Ideally you should first check out the flights and then make a hotel reservation.