8 APRIL 2019
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Istanbul New Airport (IGA) took a major step forward on Saturday as Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines (THY) completed the transfer of all operations from Atatürk in what chairman İlker Aycı called “the largest move in the history of global civil aviation”.
In a series of tweets, the carrier said “Turkish Airlines is at its new home” and “Hello to the world's largest airport from the airline that flies to more countries than any other!”
THY completed its last flight from Atatürk, a service to Singapore, on Friday and then began the final relocation process, which took 45hr, at 03:00 local time. Atatürk and Istanbul airports were closed for 12hr to accommodate the switchover.
IGA (below), which began partial operations on 29 October last year, was originally scheduled to be open completely a month ago but was beset by delays. THY’s move was a symbol of its final arrival.
Atatürk’s IATA code, IST, has transferred to the new airport while Atatürk, which remains open for cargo and VIP passenger flights, will use the ISL code.
The new airport’s initial capacity will be 90m passengers a year with the potential to grow to 200m by the year 2030 through a series of expansions.
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