The Great Move: Atatürk Airport operations moved to Istanbul Airport


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Istanbul Airport

The world is your home, welcome to the new Istanbul Airport

Newsletter: 10 April 2019

The Great Move: Atatürk Airport operations moved to Istanbul Airport


The biggest logistical operation in the world aviation history was held between 5 and 6 April 2019. In a total of 33 hours, 12 hours earlier than expected, all airlines moved from Atatürk Airport to their brand-new home Istanbul Airport. For Turkish Airlines alone around 1,800 personnel transferred approximately 47,300 tons of equipment. The combined size of it covered 33 football pitches.

The whole moving operation went smoothly and exactly as planned. In the afternoon of 6 April, all airlines and their passenger systems become fully operational in the new mega hub. Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board at iGA Airport Operations, expressed his excitement about the new beginning: “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.”

Istanbul Airport, the world’s new hub, officially opened on 29 October 2018, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. Once fully completed, including four phases with six runways, the airport is set to serve 200 million passengers annually. At full capacity, Istanbul Airport will become a global aviation hub with flights to over 300 destinations around the world. With its exclusive passenger services, Istanbul Airport will create the best passenger experience for people all over the world.

In addition to this, passenger comfort, convenience and connectivity are central to Istanbul Airport. A mix of latest technical advances, a smart wayfinding system, excellent design and a wide choice of shopping and retail experiences will enhance the passenger experience. The airport is also well connected by train, bus and car, thus offering passengers a variety of reliable ways to travel to and from Istanbul Airport.

An exclusive innovative service: Istanbul Airport Mobile App makes passengers’ lives easier

Is the flight on time? Which is the shortest way to the gate? What’s on offer in the shopping area? All these questions become clear with the new Istanbul Airport Mobile App, developed by iGA Systems. The brand-new airport mobile app offers passengers various features to make travel easier before and while travelling, such as real-time journey information, indoor navigation, information on shops and food & beverage outlets, as well as detailed information on transport options. It guides passengers from home to gate, saving time and ensuring an enjoyable and stress-free travel.

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A hub for passengers and cargo

CNN’s Richard Quest interviews İGA Chief Executive Kadri Samsunlu

“Take a look at what could one day be the world’s biggest airport,” says the CNN travel anchor in this just-released interview with İGA Chief Executive, Kadri Samsunlu, recorded just days before the full opening.” Despite Quest’s concern that “the history of airport openings is not a happy one” Samsunlu assures CNN that “we have learned from others’ failures” – an assurance that would turn out to be fully vindicated by the smooth transfer of all services to Istanbul Airport.

Watch the full video »

iGA Pass: Istanbul Airport launched special membership programme

Istanbul Airport has also launched a new exclusive, comfortable and enjoyable travel service, named iGA Pass. “iGA Pass is not a regular membership programme, it is a combination of services completing one another and making the whole travel process a privileged experience,” says Kadri Samsunlu, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board at iGA Airport Operations. The pass covers different programmes and services, including Lounge, Buggy, Fast-Track and Meet & Greet. iGA Lounge will be available 24 hours a day, providing a space of 4,420 sqm and a seating capacity for 584 people.

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A Great Honor: iGA wins Global Traveler & 2019 Leisure Lifestyle Awards

Flight check inspection underway

Each year Global Traveler Magazine, a monthly audited magazine, bringing readers information about premium cabins, airlines and hotels around the world, asks frequent business and luxury travellers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. This year Istanbul Airport won the “Outstanding Innovations” Special Achievement Award in Global Traveler’s Leisure Lifestyle Award survey.

Air transport leaders invited to Istanbul to see and learn about new Istanbul Airport

The New Airport Show Istanbul, 18-20 June 2019, will celebrate the opening of the game-changing Istanbul Airport through a spectacular exhibition and high-calibre conference detailing how and why this hub has been built, and defining its centrally-strategic role in global aviation. Taking place at the Istanbul Congress Center, The New Airport Show Istanbul is co-located with Future Travel Experience EMEA, the leading travel tech-show.

Featuring intensive İGA-moderated conference sessions devoted to the design, construction and operational expertise centred on the delivery of the new airport, other confirmed speakers include leaders from Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, Viva Air Labs, Swedavia, American Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Bengaluru International Airport, Manchester Airport Group, Lufthansa and many more.

Delegates can expect an exciting social programme in the unique city of Istanbul, including the Turkish Airlines Gala Evening at the luxurious Wyndham Grand Levent.

Learn more and register »