Turkish Airlines Launches First Flights From Istanbul New Airport

Turkish Airlines has launched its first flights from the new Istanbul Airport. The flights mark the start of a transition of flights from the old Ataturk Airport. The services have commenced following the late opening of the new Istanbul Airport after the original opening date was pushed back. It had been expected that the airport would be fully operational by the end of October, however, the date for this is now scheduled for late December.

Turkish Air Hub

Being the flag carrier of Istanbul, Turkish Airlines will play a main role at the airport. We’ve seen disasters before when new airports have been fully operational from day 1. Think back to the opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Rather than using a small launch and building services up, British Airways had a big opening day for the terminal. As such, the airline quickly ran into a number of problems. The main problem that springs to mind, however, is the chaos caused by the baggage system. This caused 34 flights to be cancelled on the first day of operation. In addition, up to 20,000 bags failed to make their flights.

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Turkish Airlines will be a key user of the Istanbul New Airport. Photo: Airbus

Turkish Airlines is taking a different approach. The airline started operating five new flights from the airport. Four are domestic routes, while one is an international route. This new approach will allow the airline to get comfortable with the new airport and, hopefully, iron out any minor issues to avoid the same fate as Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Of course, when the majority of flights switch over on the 31st December, there could still be some minor teething problems.

New Uniform For A New Airport

Back in mid-September Turkish Airlines launched a new uniform to compliment the opening of the new Istanbul Airport. The uniform was designed by Haute Couturier’s Ettore Bilotta. Drawing on Turkish tastes and patterns, it is “unique and recognisable”. The designer previously told how the uniform had been inspired by Istanbul, commenting: “When I started to design for Turkish Airlines, the first thing that inspired me was Istanbul. This city has been a melting pot for art and civilisation for centuries and has a rare richness as a common heritage of many cultures. I wanted to bring elements from traditional calligraphy  and mosaics together with the new interpretations of Turkish motifs, which emphasise modern lines, into foulards and ties to reflect a contrast and duality.”

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Turkish Airlines released a new uniform to coincide with the opening of the Istanbul New Airport. Photo: Turkish Airlines

In just under two months the concourse of Istanbul’s new airport should be well populated with Turkish Airline’s stunning new uniforms. Do you think the transfer to Istanbul’s new airport will go without a hitch? Let us know in the comments down below!