The new Istanbul Airport to be fully operational by January 2019

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The new Istanbul Airport to be fully operational by January 2019Opened officially for business, it is expected to be one of the world’s busiest

Istanbul’s new airport was inaugurated on 29 October 2018 by President Tayyip Erdogan. The new $11.7 billion (£9.1 billion) airport, just outside of Istanbul, is expected to be one of the world’s busiest, nevertheless, delays mean it will not be fully operational until January 2019.

The airport will be able to handle 90 million passengers annually, and can be expanded to accommodate as many as 200 million. 

Initially, nevertheless, the airport will only be used for a few flights within Turkey and to Azerbaijan and northern Cyprus – a setback for authorities hailing it as a centrepiece of the construction boom that has driven breakneck economic growth. 

The airport has been surrounded by criticism over working conditions and safety standards for workers. Earlier this year, the labour ministry said 27 workers had died since construction began in 2015, and in September 2018 police detained hundreds of protesting workers.

The former transport minister Ahmet Arslan originally said that all flights to and from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport – one of Europe’s five busiest – would transfer to the new airport within 48 hours of Monday’s opening. Yet, the flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines, now says only some flights to Ankara, Izmir and Antalya, as well as international flights to northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan, will be using the new airport for the foreseeable future. Its other routes will remain at Ataturk for the rest of this year.

Ataturk Airport will be closed to commercial flights once operations move the new airport but it will retain its airport status and be used for aviation fairs, Erdogan noted , adding the unused land would be turned into a park.

Istanbul is a major hub for transit flights, attracting impressive transfer traffic this year from major airports in the Gulf as Turkey recovers from security worries, according to the travel data analysis company Forward Keys.

Read more at internationalairportreview.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Jekader License: CC-BY-SA 

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