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Making the Most of the Journey: Turkish Airlines, and a Brand New Airport

Istanbul Airport (www.istairport.com) was inaugurated in October 2018,

and in its first phase can accommodate up to 90 million travellers annually. An overall capacity of 200 million will be reached when all phases are completed. Due to its strategic location between Europe and Asia, Istanbul Airport will serve more than 350 destinations. This new center of aviation provides an unprecedented travel experience for those visiting Istanbul with Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com). The national flag carrier successfully completed its ‘Grand Migration’ to Istanbul Airport last April, and launched a new era at its brand new home.


Construction and Design

Impressive growth over the past 15 years by Turkish Airlines meant that Atatürk Airport, the former primary hub of Turkish Airlines, was pushed beyond its capacity. As the carrier flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline, a new home was needed to support the airline’s development. With the support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, IGA consortium and business partners, the idea of Istanbul Airport was born.


The biggest construction project in the history of the Republic of Turkey started in May 2015. The airport terminal is 1.4 million square meters in size, which is the world’s largest, and houses more than 500 check in desks. Upon completion of the final phase in the coming years, the airport will have an annual capacity of up to 200 million passengers and will employ up to 225,000 people. As Europe’s largest transit hub, the 76 square-kilometer land area will cover six times the size of Atatürk Airport and will include six runways and 500 aircraft parking positions. The world’s largest Duty Free shop, currently already 55,000 square meters in size, will host over 400 domestic and foreign brands. The site will also hold Europe’s largest parking lot, able to park approximately 70,000 vehicles.


Upon completion of the final phase, the largest international flight hub will incorporate offices, residences, hotels, a health center, culture and art buildings, a shopping mall, designer outlets, an EXPO convention centre, and meeting and training facilities on site.


A modern, disability friendly, “green” airport with high recycling and rainwater utilization capacity, all constructed facilities built at Istanbul Airport will have Green Building Certification (LEED). The airport has already won a number of design and accountability awards. 


The Grand Migration

Atatürk Airport, after 86 years of serving as the home of Turkish Airlines, waved goodbye to its last passenger flight on April 6 with flight TK54 Istanbul – Singapore being the last ever commercial passenger flight to depart Atatürk Airport. The “Grand Migration” from Atatürk Airport to Istanbul Airport was completed in a 29 hour period, 16 hours earlier than the allotted 45 hour period. Turkish Airlines’ Grand Migration was a monumental operation and the largest ever airport transfer in which over 10 thousand pieces of equipment were transfered in approximately 1,000 truck-loads. The first flight from Turkish Airlines’ new home at Istanbul Airport departed for Ankara Esenboga Airport on April 6. Atatürk Airport’s IST code was transferred to Istanbul Airport while Atatürk Airport, which now hosts only cargo and VIP passenger flights, was assigned a new code, ISL. 


A new era for Turkish Airlines

The opening of Istanbul’s new airport, which combines with the dynamism and energy of Turkish Airlines, ushered in a new era for the carrier. With the numerous advantages and capabilities of its uber-efficient home base, Turkish Airlines is now able to increase its network extension capacity and increase further opportunities for new routes and timings with more slots available, allowing growth in key regions for both passenger and cargo transportation. Passengers will benefit from a completely redefined travel experience with new lounges and a superbly laid out terminal designed using the latest technologies and innovations. Istanbul Airport is ready to play a key role for Turkish Airlines’ future growth strategy to reach its 2023 goals to serve 120 million passengers with a fleet of over 500. Istanbul Airport offers a seamless experience to passengers, and has already started to display a positive impact -expected to reach an enormous potential soon- on the number of domestic and international-to-international passengers, who are welcomed into the city to experience the world renowned Turkish hospitality first hand. 


Turkish Airlines’ Business Lounge accommodates 765 passengers. and includes a museum, in partnership with Istanbul Modern to create a unique cultural experience as part of the flight journey. Passengers can relax in private suites and take a refreshing shower, rest in the lounge on comfortable couches and savor delicious, exclusive treats from Turkish and international cuisine. A console gaming area and large children’s play zone provide entertainment for the whole family.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles & Smiles can seat up to 765 passengers. Guests can freshen up using suites and showers and a spacious children’s playground ensures all ages are entertained. Six private meeting rooms are available for use, and a library, cinema and console gaming area provide entertainment before flights. A selection of delicious treats of Turkish and world cuisines are provided. 


Turkish Airlines Lounge Domestic is designed with meeting rooms to let passengers make the most of their time before a flight while tasting delicious treats. Console games provide fun for all the family and to ease the travel experience, passengers can complete check-in procedures and transfer directly to aircraft on apron buses.


A Bonus for Travelers

Passengers with a stopover of over 20 hours in Istanbul can explore the city before boarding their connecting flight. Turkish Airlines passengers can stopover in Istanbul on round trip journeys to a number of different destinations around the world and use their time to enjoy legendary views of the Bosphorus, spectacular palaces, and a rich variety of shopping and entertainment. 


As part of the service, Turkish Airlines offers accommodation in some of the city’s best hotels free of charge. Stay in a five star hotel for two days on Business Class trips, and in a four star hotel for one day on Economy Class trips, free of charge. More Info: www.turkishairlines.com/tr-fr/ucak-bileti/stopover

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