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Ataturk Airport gears up for move of a lifetime to Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport

It's the move of a lifetime.

On April 5, operations from Ataturk Airport will shift to the new Istanbul Airport. Originally, this was meant to happen on New Year's Eve. However, the move was delayed.

The shift will begin at 3am on April 5 and continue through to midnight on April 7. During that time each airport will operate with a reduced capacity - 35 arrivals and 35 departures every hour.

Phase one of the huge airport opened on October 29 last year, and Istanbul Airport now has the capacity to welcome 90 million annual visitors. However, the airport is set to ramp up its operations over the next couple of years, culminating in 2023 when that number will rise to 200 million. At its new peak, Istanbul Airport will be linked to 350 destinations around the world, and will have an annual cargo capacity of 5.5 million tons.

Turkey's national carrier, Turkish Airlines, which flies to more than 110 countries from Istanbul, will make the new airport its base of operations.

225,000 new jobs

Turkish airport operator IGA has announced plans to recruit 16,000 employees for the airport - with more to come.

IGA has hired 2,700 staff for operations, 3,522 security staff and about 2,000 people for retail operations at the airport.

Other firms have recruited thousands for handling, cleaning,  parking, and food court operations

Istanbul Airport is expected to create 225,000 jobs and contribute an additional household income of $4.4bn by 2025, according to a survey commissioned by IGA in 2016.

Istanbul Airport in numbers

  • 150 million: passenger capacity
  • Six: runways
  • 120: countries within three hours
  • 76.5 million: square metres
  • 22 miles: distance from Istanbul city centre
  • 451: hotel rooms
  • 228: passport control desks
  • 20,000: seats
  • Two: terminals.
  • 40,000: parking spaces
  • 114: gates 

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