Operations at Istanbul Airport ‘unprecedented’, says İGA

By Luke Barras-hill |

IstanbulNew_main

Aviation’s biggest logistical transfer was completed on 5-6 April.

İGA Havalimani İşletmesi (İGA) has hailed the ‘seamless’ transition of operations from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new mega-hub last weekend as ‘going smoothly and exactly as planned’ [click below to see a video].

As correctly anticipated by TRBusiness, the $11.7bn airport’s commercial – including duty free and F&B – zones commenced trading fully on Saturday 6 April.

This coincided with the significant shift of all Atatürk’s flight schedules, including that of flag carrier Turkish Airlines, over a 33-hour period.

MASSIVE SCALE

Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board at İGA Airport Operations said in a statement: “This exercise was simply unprecedented. No move between two globally-important hub airports has ever been attempted on anything like this scale before.

“Yet we achieved it without disruption, especially to the hundreds of thousands of travellers who continued to transit seamlessly between Asia, Africa and Europe over Istanbul Airport, while benefitting from the most advanced passenger experience technologies combined with superb shopping and eating.

“The smooth move to our new home, follows a record five-year fast-build, and firmly sets Istanbul Airport on the path to growth as one of the world’s most significant air transport centres.”

TurkishAirlinesIstanbulAirportTURKISH AIRLINES HITS 1M PAX

Unifree Duty Free opened five stores spanning 8,000sq m in January at Istanbul Airport’s cavernous 55,000sq m commercial area. Further shops were due to open in March, but delays pushed the date back.

soft-opening of the airport took place in October, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opening one store.

TRBusiness reported a positive reception to the first wave of stores that opened in December.

Istanbul’s new airport is tipped to handle 90m passengers in phase one and will handle 200m pax when it completes. Construction is being undertaken in four phases and will eventually house six runways.

“Passenger comfort, convenience and connectivity are central to Istanbul Airport,” adds İGA. “A mix of the latest technical advances, a smart wayfinding system, excellent design and a wide choice of shopping and retail experiences will enhance the passenger experience.”

Approximately 4,000 Turkish Airlines’ flights departed and arrived at the airport in the first week of operation and the airline handled a milestone 1m passengers at its new home as of Sunday (14 April).

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