These Are the First Routes Out of Istanbul's Humongous New Airport
Turkey is about to unveil a new airport — one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world. Named Istanbul New Airport, it has been a project long in the works, and long expected to open officially on Oct. 29, 2018, though there has been some concern regarding just how the transition from Istanbul's current airport, Ataturk (IST), will go. Now, just more than a week before opening, there are more clues as to how the transition will be handled and what routes will first operate out of its six runways.
Turkish Airlines released a statement, saying that it plans to "launch [a] limited number of domestic and international flights from Istanbul New Airport until December 29, 2018; and will continue to carry out its main operation and existing schedule without a change at Istanbul Atatürk Airport."
More specifically, Turkish announced that its first routes out of New Airport — with a temporary IATA code "ISL" — will be Ankara (ESB), Antalya (AYT), Izmir (ADB), Baku (GYD) and Ercan (ECN). The airline said that those routes from New Airport will be in addition to flights already being carried out from Atatürk until Dec. 30, 2018.
Then, the official move from Atatürk to New Airport will take place for Turkish on Dec. 31, 2018. As of that date, all flights currently operating out of Atatürk will move to New Airport. When the old airport closes, New Airport will take the "IST" IATA code, replacing its current, temporary "ISL" code.
The original plan for the transition from Ataturk to New Airport was supposed to happen within 48 hours. A mass migration from the original IST to New Airport was effectively supposed to happen overnight, with a mass transportation between the two.
The Istanbul New Airport is sure to be one that will rank among the top in the world. The 1.47 million-square-meter airport is billed as the world's largest and is capable of transporting more than 200,000 passengers each day. Estimated to cost $12 billion, the airport will eventually be able to accommodate 200 million passengers each year.