The national flag carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines, has announced the date for the second and final phase of its move to the new Istanbul Airport. Kicking off on 5 April 2019 at 03:00, the complex operation is expected to take a total of 45 hours in total and will conclude on 6 April at 23:59.
To help complete the move in a timely and efficient manner, Atatürk Airport and Istanbul Airport will be closed for all scheduled passenger flights between 02:00 and 14:00 of 6 April.
The first phase of the move to Istanbul Airport was successfully completed back on 29 October 2018.
Commenting on the project and its complexities, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı shared: “The biggest move of the aviation history will take place. The combined size of the equipment we are going to transfer would cover 33 football pitches.
“After this great move, which will be watched by the entire world, we will wake up to a new morning. It will be a morning, which the sun shining on Turkish Aviation with the flights operated at Istanbul Airport. I convey my hopes that it will bring a great fortune to both our country and company.”
Details into the monstrous project include the movement of equipment weighing a combined estimated 47,300 tons between the two airports. This will comprise of everything from aircraft towing units weighing 44 tons to freight of five thousand trucking rigs. Distance covered by the trucking rigs carrying the load will reportedly be at 400 thousand kilometres.
The last flight carrying passengers from Ataturk Airport will be the Atatürk Airport – Singapore flight. Following the completion of the flight, normal operations will begin at Istanbul Airport on 6 April at 14:00. The first scheduled flight at the new airport will be the Istanbul Airport – Ankara Esenboğa Airport flight.