ISTANBUL — Turkish Airlines says it’s ready for its move to the new Istanbul Airport, a 45-hour process that will begin at 3 a.m. on Friday April 5.
If everything goes according to plan, the moving operation will be completed on Saturday April 6 at 11:59 p.m.
In order to conclude the Great Move successfully, Atatürk Airport and Istanbul Airport will be closed for all scheduled passenger flights between 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 6.
As the largest airport project of the world, the new Istanbul Airport officially opened on Oct. 29, 2018.
“The biggest move in aviation history is about to take place,” says Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı. “The combined size of the equipment we are going to transfer would cover 33 football pitches. After this great move, which will be watched by the entire world, we will wake up to a new morning. I convey my hopes that it will bring a great fortune to both our country and company.”
The last flight carrying passengers from Ataturk Airport will be Atatürk – Singapore. After the Great Move, flight operations will start at Istanbul Airport on April 6 at 2 p.m.
The first flight will be Istanbul – Ankara Esenboğa. The number of flights from Istanbul Airport will be increased in stages according to a set plan.
During the Great Move, equipment weighing approximately 47,300 tons will be carried to Istanbul Airport from Atatürk Airport. From aircraft towing apparatus weighing 44 tons to extremely sensitive materials, over 10 thousand pieces of equipment will be transferred, equal to the freight of 5,000 trucking rigs. The distance covered by the trucking rigs during the move is calculated to be 400,000 kilometres, equal to circling the Earth 10 times. Over 1,800 personnel will be involved in the operation.
Following the first stage, passenger flights of the national flag carrier using Istanbul Airport were listed as ISL. After the move, IATA codes will change. From April 6 at 3 a.m., Atatürk Airport’s IST code will be given to Istanbul Airport. Atatürk Airport, which will operate cargo and VIP passenger flights, will use the ISL code.