Goodbye Atatürk, hello SMARTIST

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Goodbye Atatürk, hello SMARTIST


Turkish Cargo has moved all its air cargo operations from Atatürk International Airport to SMARTIST and is now settling into its new home at the Istanbul Airport’s mega cargo facility.

After its opening in 2019, passenger flights were shifted from Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport but Turkish Cargo continued its freighter operations at Atatürk.

Turhan Ozen, chief cargo officer at Turkish Airlines said: With SMARTIST, our new home, we are ready for the future more than we have ever been before.

During the last three years, we carried out a highly substantial operation in both of our hubs. While we made use of our freighters at the Ataturk Airport, we benefited from our passenger aircraft and the preighter capacity at the Istanbul Airport.

“We performed approximately 30 thousand flights, 23 thousand of which were performed by making use of our freighters and six thousand of which were by preighters. We transported more than 4 million air cargo shipments, 2.5 million tonnes of which were transported from/to the Ataturk Airport and 1.8 million tonnes of which were transported from/to the Istanbul Airport.

“Now, we are gathering the air cargo operations which we have been carrying out triumphantly on “dual hub” basis without compromising our service quality, under a single roof at the Istanbul Airport.

“Thanks to SMARTIST, our new home with all of its processes equipped with autonomous and robotic systems, we as Turkish Cargo, the air cargo bridge of Turkey, are now ready for the future more than we have been ever before.”

A new hub

SMARTIST will achieve an annual capacity of four million tonnes. Once all phases are complete, it will cover an area of 340,000 sq m. The facility is equipped with smart technologies such as augmented reality, automatic storage systems, robotic process automation and unmanned ground vehicles.

As part of the relocation operation, which was overseen by the senior executives of Turkish Cargo, TGS and the moving company at the Relocation Control Centre, 160 services were performed by 50 trucks.

During the operation, the moving trucks covered a distance of approximately 16,000 kms, equal to the distance between Turkey and New Zealand. During the move, 4125 pieces of equipment, owned by TGS and Turkish Cargo, were relocated.