Istanbul’s new airport was supposed to open in October 2018, but its fully opening was delayed to the end of December 2018. However, last week officials decided to have another delay and open the airport fully at the beginning of the summer season on March 31, 2019.
However, there are some reports in local Turkish media that tell about a possible opening at the beginning of March. Will have to wait and see, at the moment there is much uncertainty about this news.
Some new flights added to operate starting January 2019 from the new airport
What is known is that Turkish Airlines will add starting January 10, 2019 new flights to international destinations from the new airport that will operate until the end of February 2019. You can see the new destinations here, but those are new flights, so if you already booked your ticket on that period, you will definitely land on the old Ataturk Istanbul Airport for your visit in Istanbul or transfer to the connecting flight.
Works are still in progress at Istanbul’s new airport but there were already a handful of domestic and regional flights that are operating from there starting October 2018 when there was a fastuos opening of the airport.
The biggest operation problem will be for Turkish Airlines, which has to move all its equipment, aircraft and staff to the new airport in a matter of a couple of tens of hours. For the aircraft to be moved it’s not that big of a challenge, because on the return flight from a destination it can easily land at the new airport, but however the moving and installing of the required equipment can be really hard.
For other airlines, the old Istanbul Ataturk it is still scheduled to operate until late 2019. Sabiha Gökçen Airport, located in the Asian part of the city (the new airport its north-west of Istanbul) will remain open and operational even after the full move-in to the new airport and closure of old Ataturk.
The new Airport will offer a number of 114 gates, almost triple than the existing 41 gates at Ataturk Airport. At its opening is expected to have a capacity to handle up to 90 million passengers a year but can be extended to have a total capacity of 250 million passengers/year.