Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines will make the first commercial belly flight from the new $11 billion Istanbul New Airport on 31 October.
The airport will open and as of midnight on 31 October, Istanbul Atatürk Airport will be closed for passenger transport and İstanbul New will take over.
Once finished, the new airport will have six runways spread over 7,594 hectares, and it will feature a 1.4 million square metre Cargo City with a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes of capacity.
Turkish Airlines chairman, İlker Ayci said: “THY will carry out its first flight to the capital city Ankara, where the Turkish Republic was founded, at 2:00 p.m.”
The first overseas flights will be made to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan.
Two days before, on 29 October, the 95th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, the biggest airport in the world built from scratch is due to open with a ceremony. Parliamentary speaker Binali Yıldırım and many state members will attend the ceremony.
Turkish Airlines alone will deploy 800 trucks to transfer all the airline’s equipment and facilities from Atatürk Airport to İstanbul New Airport. Coordinated by the General Directorate of State Airports Authority, it will take approximately 45 hours.
One month before the grand opening, on 28 September, the second phase training for employees of airlines, ground services, and other relevant companies will take place.
As part of the ORAT (Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer) process, 28,200 people will receive field training that covers familiarization with the airside, terminal, and luggage services, including ramp licenses. If classroom-based training is included, nearly 53,000 people will have been trained.