The transfer from Atatürk Airport to Istanbul New Airport will be done in 48 hours on Oct. 30 and 31, immediately after the opening ceremony to be held on Oct. 29, according to a report in Turkish daily Akşam.
Accordingly, Istanbul New Airport, which will be the world's largest once complete, will be opened with a spectacular ceremony on Turkey's Republic Day with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and state members in attendance. According to Akşam, the airport will not start operating immediately on Oct. 29. The official opening ceremony of the airport will be held on the said day and only the president and other VIP guests will fly to and from the airport.
As Oct. 29 is a Monday, airline companies, especially Turkish Airlines (THY), hoping to take advantage of the three-day holiday along with Saturday and Sunday, want to make the transition from Atatürk Airport to Istanbul New Airport on Oct. 30 and 31 instead of Oct. 29. The State Airports Authority (DHMİ) has reached an agreement with airline companies and ground services to prevent any delays in terms of transfers in addition to the opening ceremony. All the details of the transfer from Atatürk Airport to the new airport, which is expected to be completed in 48 hours, have been worked out. According to the plan, foreign airlines will not fly to Istanbul for two days, Oct. 30 and 31. Aiming to make the transition easier by temporarily reducing air traffic, this arrangement will be announced to foreign airline companies that fly to Istanbul.
The companies in question will cancel their flights to Istanbul and will not book tickets for Oct. 30-31. Only private airline companies, such as Onur Air and AtlasGlobal, that use Atatürk Airport as a main hub will fly for the first 12 hours.
Meanwhile, THY plans to not fly for at least the first 18 hours of the transition. THY, which will not sell tickets during this time, will schedule take offs from Atatürk Airport and landings at Istanbul New Airport. Vehicles on the ground will be transported to the new airport by road. At the end of the 48-hour transition, Istanbul New Airport will host 35 landings and 35 departures per hour. Atatürk Airport will allow flights with five landings and five departures per hour, including VIP and business flights. Some individual cargo planes will also continue to use Atatürk Airport for a while.
Atatürk Airport's transfer to the new airport has been cleared in general terms in Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) meetings. Starting at 1 a.m. on Oct. 30, there will be intense road and air traffic from Yeşilköy to the Black Sea side of Istanbul on European side.