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ISTANBUL: October 18 2018. In a little under two weeks, Istanbul New Airport (IST) will open its doors with what Turkish Cargo says will be a "stunning" ceremony.

Turkish Cargo ISTThe airline says it will switch its bellyhold operations from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport at the end of December this year and continue operating freighter flights from Atatürk in 2019.

“The transfer to İstanbul New Airport will be the biggest ever airport transfer in the world. There have been no airports transferred further than 45 km in the world,” said IST airport general manager and CEO H. Kadri Samsunlu.

“Since 2016, we have been meticulously carrying out our work regarding the transfer to İstanbul New Airport. At this point, we have finished training the airlines, particularly Turkish Airlines, ground services, and other stakeholders, all in order to ensure their orientation to the airport in the operation preparation process. With this experience, we can make people say ‘Turks do it best,’” he added.

Last July airport operator IGA signed 25-year leases valued at €250 million with cargo operators MNG, PTT, Çelebi Ground Handling, HAVAŞ, Sistem Logistics and Bilin Logistics tol build and operate facilities covering 200,000 sq.mt. in the airport's new Cargo City and Ground Services Campus. The facility will cover 1.4 million sq.mt. and enable the simultaneous operation of 35 widebody aircraft, according to IGA.

When complete in 2028, the operator says the mega hub will support 150 airlines operating from six runways with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers and 5.5. million tonnes of freight flying to more than 350 destinations worldwide.


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