Turkish airports host 57.2M passengers in January-April

Tuba Sahin

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey saw a total of nearly 57.2 million air passengers in the first four months of 2019, the country’s air travel authority announced on Tuesday.

The number of passengers passing through Turkish airports was down 5.3% from the same period last year, according to the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI).

Nearly 43% of total passengers — over 24.4 million — travelled on international flights, while domestic traffic was recorded at 32.6 million during the same period.

Turkish airports served 579,466 planes including overflights in the first four months of this year, falling 1.6% year-on-year.

The new mega-Istanbul Airport, whose first phase officially opened last fall and which took over air traffic from the former main Ataturk Airport on April 6., welcomed 4.7 million passengers and served 29,492 planes in January-April.

With a full capacity of 200 million passengers annually after the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028, Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub hosting more than 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations around the world.

Ataturk Airport had previously been the busiest airport in the country, serving 115,435 planes and 16 million passengers in the same period.

The last passenger flight from Ataturk Airport was conducted on April 6.

Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the city's Anatolian side was the second busiest airport in Turkey, hosting 11 million passengers and 73,474 planes.

Air Albania launches flights from new Istanbul airport

By Kenan Irtak

ISTANBUL (AA) – Albania’s first national airline company — a joint venture with Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines — started flights Friday from Istanbul Airport, the city's new main international air hub.

Air Albania will operate two flights daily between Istanbul and the capital Tirana, Sinan Dilek, the general manager of the carrier, said during a ceremony at Istanbul Airport.

Dilek said Air Albania planned to schedule flights to new destinations in Italy and the U.K. this summer.

"It is a pride for us to start flights from Istanbul Airport, which is the biggest airport in the world," he added.

The first phase of the Istanbul Airport with an annual capacity of 90 million passengers officially opened last October.

At a full annual capacity of 200 million passengers — with the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028 — Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub with flights to over 350 destinations around the world.

*Writing and contributions by Gokhan Ergocun

Turkish Airlines launch direct flights to Marrakech

By Tuba Sahin

ANKARA (AA) – National flag carrier Turkish Airlines has launched direct flights from new mega Istanbul Airport to Morocco's crimson city of Marrakech, it said Monday.

"As the national flag carrier’s first inaugural flight from its new home [Istanbul Airport], Marrakech became Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Morocco while becoming its 308th destination globally," it said in a statement.

The company switched its operations to the new Istanbul Airport from Ataturk Airport on April 6.

Flights to Marrakech will run five days a week, it said in a statement.

Turkish Airlines, with its fleet of 335 aircraft (passenger and cargo), flies to 308 destinations in 124 countries — 49 domestic and 259 international.

Police seize 8 kg cocaine at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

                By Huseyin Bagis</p>    <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkish police have arrested two Nigerian nationals at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport for carrying over 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of cocaine.</p>    <p>The Anti-Narcotic Crime Branch teams of the Istanbul Police Department searched the suitcases and bags of the suspects, who arrived at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport from Brazil’s Sao Paulo on March 7, said a source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. </p>    <p>As a result of the search, nearly 8 kilogram (18 pounds) of cocaine, which was hidden in chocolate and shower gel packets, was found, the source added.</p>    <p>Following the investigation, the police discovered an auto painter was the recipient of the drug. The suspect, who took a loan to purchase the drug, has also been taken into custody.</p>    <p>The suspects has been remanded in custody by a court.</p>    <p>The market value of the drug seized in operation is 2 million Turkish lira (around $352,000).

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

Istanbul Airport serves flights after mega move

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) – The Istanbul Airport started serving international and domestic flights on Saturday after its mega move.

Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines dispatched its first flight to capital Ankara at 2 p.m. local time (1100GMT).

Ilker Ayci, chairman of Turkish Airlines, said in a statement: "Today in our new home, we open the doors of a new adventure and fly to our capital once again for our first flight."

On Friday, the big switch from Ataturk Airport to the new Istanbul airport began.

The first phase of the airport with an annual capacity of 90 million passengers officially opened last October.

At a full annual capacity of 200 million passengers — with the completion of all four phases with six runways until 2028 — Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub with flights to over 350 destinations around the world.

After its completion, the airport will serve 250 aviation companies worldwide with daily 2,000 plane landing and taking off capacity.

Mega move to Istanbul Airport continuing on schedule

ISTANBUL (AA) – The big switch Friday from Ataturk Airport to the new mega-Istanbul Airport was continuing on schedule, according to officials overseeing the operation.

Turkey's flag carrier air company Turkish Airlines said some 38% of the overall moving operation has been completed thus far as the entire endeavor is expected to last 45 hours.

Police and gendarmerie teams have taken tight security measures along the route the trucks traveled, carrying "over 10,000 pieces of equipment weighing 47,300 tons", according to the air carrier.

Over 1,800 personnel is taking part in the "Great Move", according to Turkish Airlines.

"We are conducting the biggest transportation operation in the aviation history," said Ilker Ayci, Turkish Airlines chairman.

The move began as of 3.00 a.m. local time (0000GMT) and will be completed Saturday night at 23.59 local time (20.59 GMT).

Both airports will be closed for all passenger flights between 02:00 and 14:00 on Saturday (Friday, 2300GMT and Saturday 1100GMT).

The last flight from Ataturk Airport will be the scheduled Istanbul-Singapore flight of Turkish Airlines.

Istanbul Airport, the “world's new hub", officially opened on Oct. 29, 2018, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.

At a full annual capacity of 200 million passengers — with the completion of all four phases with six runways until 2028 — Istanbul Airport is set to become a global aviation hub hosting more than 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations around the world.

  • Writing by Tuba Sahin from Ankara

Turkish Airlines: Great move begins

            By Gozde Bayar</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) – Turkish Airlines embarked on a mammoth logistical operation Friday, moving from its old base at Ataturk Airport to the newly built Istanbul Airport.</p>  <p>The airline described the operation as “The Great Move” (Buyuk Goc), which is expected to last 45 hours and involve 707 trucks and 800 personnel.</p>  <p>“10,000 pieces of equipment weighing 47,000 tons were tagged piece by piece,” it said on its official Twitter account.</p>  <p>Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi also discussed the move on Twitter.</p>  <p> “#BuyukGoc is being followed step by step. We are able to monitor all transportation processes instantaneously with the software developed by our transportation company Arkas,” he said.</p>  <p>The national flag carrier also announced that due to the relocation, there will be no flights from Ataturk Airport as of 2 a.m. Saturday (2300 GMT).</p>  <p>There will be a period of 12 hours during which there will be no commercial passenger flights from both Ataturk and Istanbul airports until the first flight from the new airport to Ankara on Saturday at 2 p.m. (1100 GMT).</p>  <p>During the relocation between the two airports, major roads in the city will be closed to traffic to ensure a secure operation.</p>  <p>Founded in 1933, Turkish Airlines flies to more than 300 destinations in over 120 countries -- 49 domestic and 257 international.</p>  <p>Last year, it carried more than 75 million passengers with a seat occupancy rate of 82 percent.

Big move to Istanbul Airport set to start Friday

             <p>By Ugur Aslanhan</p>  <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - The big switch from Ataturk Airport to the new mega-Istanbul Airport will start early Friday morning, Turkey’s transport and infrastructure minister said on Wednesday.</p>  <p>Starting on April 5 at 3.00 a.m. local time (0000GMT), the initial moving operation will take a total of 45 hours, Cahit Turhan told at a news conference in Istanbul. </p>  <p>Turhan said all flights at both airports will be cut off at the same time for a period of 12 hours.</p>  <p>&quot;The last flight at Ataturk Airport will be done on April 6 at 2.00 a.m. local time [April 5, 2300GMT]. </p>  <p>&quot;Flights at Istanbul Airport will increase gradually as of April 6 at 2.00 p.m. local time [1100GMT].&quot; </p>  <p>He told how currently some 300 planes take off and land at Ataturk Airport every day, while last year it served a total of 465,000 planes. </p>  <p>Within five years Istanbul Airport will rank second in the global list of airports serving the most passengers, Turhan said. </p>  <p>But once all its phases are completed, the airport will become a global aviation hub and rank first, he stressed. </p>  <p>Istanbul Airport, the “world's new hub&quot;, officially opened on Oct. 29, 2018, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.</p>  <p>* Writing by Tuba Sahin from Ankara</p>        

Big move to Istanbul Airport set to start Friday

             <p>By Ugur Aslanhan</p>  <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - The big switch from Ataturk Airport to the new mega-Istanbul Airport will start early Friday morning, Turkey’s transport and infrastructure minister said on Wednesday.</p>  <p>Starting on April 5 at 3.00 a.m. local time (0000GMT), the initial moving operation will take a total of 45 hours, Cahit Turhan told at a news conference in Istanbul. </p>  <p>Turhan said all flights at both airports will be cut off at the same time for a period of 12 hours.</p>  <p>&quot;The last flight at Ataturk Airport will be done on April 6 at 2.00 a.m. local time [April 5, 2300GMT]. </p>  <p>&quot;Flights at Istanbul Airport will increase gradually as of April 6 at 2.00 p.m. local time [1100GMT].&quot; </p>  <p>He told how currently some 300 planes take off and land at Ataturk Airport every day, while last year it served a total of 465,000 planes. </p>  <p>Within five years Istanbul Airport will rank second in the global list of airports serving the most passengers, Turhan said. </p>  <p>But once all its phases are completed, the airport will become a global aviation hub and rank first, he stressed. </p>  <p>Istanbul Airport, the “world's new hub&quot;, officially opened on Oct. 29, 2018, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.</p>  <p>* Writing by Tuba Sahin from Ankara</p>        

Turkish Airlines big switch Istanbul Airport on April 6

             By Tuba Sahin</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - As it switches its operations to the new mega-Istanbul Airport, Turkish Airlines will end all scheduled flights at Ataturk Airport as of April 6 at 2.00 a.m. local time (April 5, 2300GMT), the airline said on Monday.</p>  <p>The national flag carrier will resume all flight operations planned for Ataturk Airport from its new home Istanbul Airport as of the afternoon of April 6 at 14.00 local time (1100GMT), it announced on Twitter.</p>  <p>Istanbul Airport, the “world's new hub,” officially opened on Oct. 29, 2018, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.</p>  <p>Once fully completed -- including four phases with six runways -- Istanbul Airport is set to serve 150 million passengers annually.</p>  <p>At full capacity, Istanbul Airport will become a global aviation hub by hosting more than 100 airlines and flights to over 300 destinations around the world.</p>  <p>Turkish Airlines, founded in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, currently has more than 330 aircraft, including passenger and cargo planes.</p>  <p>It flies to 306 destinations in 124 countries. Last year, Turkish Airlines carried 75.2 million passengers with a seat occupancy rate of 82 percent.