The new Istanbul Airport is supposed to be one of the largest in the world, initially serving 95 million passengers annually. That number is estimate to jump to 200 million passengers after the second phase of the airport is complete in the next 10 years.
The New Mega Istanbul Airport Will Open March 3
The airport had a soft opening for a few, domestic destinations back in October. They have since added 10 more Turkish Airline destinations, including some in Europe. The airport was supposed to open completely at the start of this year but that open date was pushed back.
At the time of the delay, it was said that it would open March 3. The minister today again reaffirmed that date and said that all the equipment will be transferred, starting March 1, for the March 3 opening.
… Or, Will It?
According to some reports, some of the delay is due to the ground the airport was built on as portions of it have caved in and they needed to reinforce the foundation with more fill. Another reason has to do with flooding. Earlier this month, the airport saw a lot of flooding and, according to some experts, this could be cause for the airport to be delayed yet again.
A member of the government opposition party says that he thinks the airport opening could be delayed up to another 2 years from now. Although, this is politics and this airport is seen as a major project for the Turkish president so I would expect the oppposition party to say something like that. 🙂 But, then again, could it be delayed again if there are fundamental problems ongoing and not just a logistics problem?
Progress Being Made By Turkish Airlines
On the positive side, Turkish Airlines announced today that they have opened 5 major facilities on the grounds of the new airport, operational facilities that cover over 538,000 square feet. This is certainly a move in the right direction as we are now just over 40 days from the set opening date of the new Istanbul airport.
I am looking forward to the new airport, and, of course, the new lounges! I have spent a lot of time in the current Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge (I think it is one of the best business class lounges in the world!) and had actually had a trip planned to check out the new airport and lounges before they pushed the opening date. 🙁 Oh, well, I will certainly be visiting it soon after opening anyway!
Oh, and chances are pretty good you will be visiting it as well! Did you know that Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline – 121 countries in total?
Featured image courtesy of IG Airports