Istanbul's new airport opening delayed again - now till March 3
THE full opening of the new Istanbul Airport for passenger flights has been delayed for the second time, according London's Air Cargo News
THE full opening of the new Istanbul Airport for passenger flights has been delayed for the second time, according London's Air Cargo News.
The plan is for freighter operations to make the switch later this year, when Ataturk closes to commercial use.
Turkish Airlines and other carriers were scheduled to launch passenger services at the final phase EUR10.5 billion (US$11.9 billion) hub on last week after a mass migration of airline staff and 14,000 airport support vehicles from Istanbul's current hub, Ataturk Airport, on December 30-31.
The overnight transfer did not take place and added to a previous project delay. The airport was due to begin with a full schedule of passenger flights on October 29 last year, although that was scaled back to a 'soft opening' of just five flights a day, with early January 2019 established as the new start date.
I?GA Airport, the group which built and will operate the Istanbul hub under a 25-year concession, said that 66,000 passenger have used the facility since late October.
Kadri Samsunlu, chief executive of I?GA, said today: 'The airport will be commissioned at full capacity in a matter of weeks. All is ready for the occasion.'
Reuters, citing Turkey's Milliyet newspaper, said that the January launch date 'had been pushed back until early March,' adding: 'Videos posted on social media since then have shown rain leaking heavily into a waterlogged passenger terminal, and a flooded car park at the new airport.'