The new Istanbul Airport is not only the largest transportation project in Turkey, it is also in the running to be a global aviation hub, having begun fully serving passengers from all areas of the world starting from April.
With this Turkey plans to capitalise on its geographical location and the huge flight network they have in Turkish Airlines. From this new hub, Istanbul Airport is preparing for an increase in carriers who organise flights from here.
IGA Airport Operations
The CEO of IGA Airport, Kadri Samsunlu said 66 airlines currently use Istanbul airport, while two companies would launch flights in the summer, saying: “We receive high demand from the Chinese. We are keenly analysing this market. We will reach 70 companies by the end of the year. Thirty-three airlines have increased their flights frequency from the summer seasons.”
Istanbul Airport Spaces
Samsunlu made a point that the 30,000 square metre duty free and retail generated space showed an increase of 15-20% per capita when compared to Ataturk Airport and that 65% of the areas within the retail areas were already successfully rented to businesses.
There were a lot of companies from the West to the East that contacted IGA after the inauguration of the airport. Samsunlu confirmed that both the infrastructure and sovereign funds were now looking for returns. He went on to say: “We wanted to measure the value of our assets. Istanbul Airport is a global entity. The bosses do not think about selling the airport. They are very happy to run this place.”
Distances within the airport
Samsunlu explained the walking distance in the airport terminal is very similar to other major ports in the world, adding that they were working on new methods to assist the elderly, disabled and families with children. Currently there is new research and on-going studies on these specific groups in order to understand how to make travelling within the airport as easy as possible for all.
The airport is looking closely at getting foldable wheelchairs as these could be given to passengers and companions – they could be used then folded and left just before passengers boarded the plane heading to their final destination.
Times within the airport
The average taxi-in time is 24 minutes currently, whereas the average taxi-out time ranges from 14 to 15 minutes depending on time of day. When the third runway opens in 2020, these times would decrease substantially. Samsunlu added, “This runway will be on the east side. Taxi times at Ataturk Airport averaged 20 minutes.”
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