Istanbul New Airport (INA) is on schedule to open in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018 and it is set to evolve into one of the world’s key cargo hubs.
The gateway’s operator is IGA Airport Operation and chief commercial officer, Abdullah Soner Akkurt (pictured below) says the contract states the opening will be planned for November 2018, but the target is Q1 of 2018.
He explains that there are currently 22,500 people who are working at full speed at the construction site to make this happen.
INA will host nearly 100 carriers when all phases are finished completely and it will be the main hub for Turkish Airlines.
Akkurt says it will be one of the largest airport cargo areas in the world with atotal land area of about 1.4 million square metres and the cargo city will have 29 separate park positions for freighters.
The airport will be able to handle 5.5 million tonnes of cargo per year, when it is completely finished, but in the first two phases the cargo capacity will be planned for about 4.5 million tonnes per year.
After finishing Terminal 2 the capacity will rise to 5.5 million, when another cargo and logistic area near the terminal will be opened.
Akkurt says he cannot right now give any details about what air cargo carriers will be operating at the new airport as this has yet to be finalised.
Turkey has in recent times had economic and political instability, but Akkurt says this has not had any effect on the project and IGA is complying with the timetable and there are no changes.
Turkish Airlines is sure to reap the rewards of the opening and will be the hub carrier at INA and its expansion is sure to continue, Akkurt notes.
He adds: “We see Istanbul as a global platform of international airport operators. In addition we benefit from a very good geographic location, which enables to reach many destinations within a few hours.
“The development of Turkish Airlines as the hub carrier is another advantage for us and it shows that Turkish Airlines is ready to serve much more destinations when Istanbul New Airport is opened.
“Therefore we are sure that Istanbul New Airport will be a global hub like Dubai International Airport.”