Turkey’s Grand Istanbul Airport set to reveal

By Luke Barras-hill |

IstanbulNew_mainTurkish operator İGA Havalimani İsletmesi (İGA) today opens phase one of Istanbul New Airport (INA), which includes a gargantuan 53,000sq m of commercial space.

In a Twitter post this morning coinciding with Turkish National Day and the 95th anniversary of the Republic’s founding, İGA praised the airport’s grand unveil as serving ‘Turkey and the world’ [see below video].

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to inaugurate the new terminal, which is tipped to handle 90m passengers when it completes its first phase by 2023.


İGA and its stakeholders including Turkish Airlines have been in high spirits in the run-up to the reveal, but certain sections of the international press have pointed towards a pared-down flights roster.

The postponement to its full operations until December 31 are based on comments reportedly made by İGA Airport Operation CEO  Kadri Samsunlu to Turkish newspaper journalists, however, the operator was not immediately available at the time this report went to press to confirm these directly to TRBusiness.


A premium and luxury feel occupies the heart of the 53,000sq m commercial footprint, which includes an extensive duty free offering and five distinct ‘Bosphorus’ themed retail villages.

Gebr. Heinemann partner Unifree Duty Free will preside over the mammoth commercial zones, which include a 36,000sq m central processor area in departures featuring 18,000sq m dedicated to duty free and Turkish bazaars.

A further 11,000sq m of duty free is located in arrivals, with pier and transfer shops making up an additional 7,000sq m.

As revealed by TRBusiness, five distinct villages epitomise the heart of the Bosphorus, each boasting their own marketplace districts, combining premium, luxury and affordable merchandise across a spread of categories.


Istanbul New Airport will handle 90m passengers in phase one. A ‘partial’ opening will take place today ahead of a full transfer of operations on 31 December, according to reports.

Gebr. Heinemann Executive Director Retail and HR Raoul Spanger told TRBusiness recently: “The seamless integration of the physical and digital shopping space is a hallmark of Gebr. Heinemann’s business and, in partnership with Istanbul Airport, we aim to create memorable experiences and unlock previously unrealised commercial channels. We want to take the Istanbul Airport retail offer digital.”


İGA, a joint-venture consortium comprising Turkish companies, won the 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract to construct and manage the €10.3bn INA in 2013.

Spread over an area of 76.5 million square metres and situated 35km north of Istanbul, INA will serve up to 350 destinations and 200m passengers once all phases are complete.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport was due to close at midnight on 31 October to make way for passenger operations at the new facility, although this now looks set to take place in December as mentioned above.

Samsunlu says the terminal makes ‘an important architectural contribution to the city’, with the ‘capacity and security to keep growing in a sustainable way far into the future’.

“Myself, all the staff of İGA, and all our partners and stakeholders, all look forward with pride to warmly welcoming the world to İstanbul New Airport, from where everyone truly will have a great flight,” he stated.

TRBusiness aims to bring you further comment and reaction from the grand opening in due course…

Click here to subscribe for an in-depth interview with Gebr. Heinemann available in the October edition.


Middle East

JEDCO launches multi-category tenders at KAIA T1

Jeddah Airports Company (JEDCO KSA) has issued a request for proposals for several...


TR Consumer Forum 2024: Ticket sales now open

TRBusiness is thrilled to announce that you can now book your tickets to the TR Consumer Forum...


Alcohol insights: Conversion up, spend down in Q4

Conversion of visitors in the alcohol category in duty free has risen to 54% in Q4 2023,...

image description

In the Magazine

TRBusiness Magazine is free to access. Read the latest issue now.

E-mail this link to a friend