© 2020 Elsevier LtdInvestigating the determinants of air passenger traffic has become commonplace. In contrast with most previous publications, this paper investigates these determinants in an emerging country, Turkey, at the provincial level between 2004 and 2014. We find that GDP/capita, population, distance to alternative airports, tourism, leading cities, and international migrations all support more air traffic. Furthermore, market concentration is associated with less traffic, and the presence of academics with more traffic. Mapping models' residuals suggest catchment areas, surface transport options, domestic migrations and (geo)politics could also matter. Accordingly, it appears the determinants of Turkey's air passenger traffic do not differ from those of developed economies. The results also suggest new airports should be built based on the aforementioned factors.