On April 6th 2019, all airlines were in full operation and Istanbul Airport was working flawlessly – achieved without incident! Due to the careful planning and the excellent execution of the Big Bang, modelled by an extensive Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) procedure, passengers experienced no frictions and airlines continued their service at Istanbul Airport. On April 6th at 14:00, the first flight ever assigned with the code “IST” took off from Istanbul Airport to Ankara Esenboğa Airport. Istanbul Airport came into the aviation world as a bright shining star and has established itself amongst the leading airports in Europe and the world from the moment it turned to full operations.
Istanbul Airport welcomed 64,082,722 passengers between 6 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. Working tirelessly to realise its vision to make the world move closer together, Istanbul Airport will uphold this vision throughout this crisis.
Having welcomed 11 new airlines that had never flown to Istanbul before, the wide variety of international airlines on the airport’s carrier rollcall continues to highlight the attractive demand for Istanbul Airport. Passengers have praised the gateway for its stunning architecture and its impeccable service. Completing its first year, the IGA PASS membership, which offers extra amenities such as the comfortable IGA-Lounge, has enjoyed considerable demand. This level of passenger satisfaction has lead Istanbul Airport to surpass the guaranteed passenger numbers in its first nine months of operation.
The tremendous service Istanbul Airport offers to both airlines and passengers has led the airport to win two awards, widely recognised in the travel and aviation industry. US-magazine Global Traveller awarded Istanbul Airport with the ‚Special Achievement Award‘ in the ‚Outstanding Innovations‘ category, chosen by publishers, editors and industry insiders for its outstanding performance. Likewise, the readers of renowned aviation magazine International Airport Review chose Istanbul Airport for the ‘Airport of the Year’ award, outperforming international airports such as Singapore Changi and London Heathrow.
One year ago today, we shifted to full capacity after the most successful relocation in aviation history. Even though we celebrate our first year with a heavy heart, soon the days will be back where we will send our guests off on new journeys. May we meet again in healthy days…
Istanbul Airport has been facing overwhelming challenges from the beginning and we have become strong enough to handle problems and wise enough to find solutions. We are convinced that we can learn from our past challenges to find the strength to go through this period together and look forward to a brighter future. Therefore, together with the aviation community and the entire world, Istanbul Airport will stand in solidarity against this turmoil.
Our respectful ovation goes out to all the people who are working selflessly and devotedly to serve the public in these challenging times.