New Istanbul Airport to be operational on April 6, 2019

Turkey is in the process of building, which will be the largest airport in the world, and will be able to accommodate 200 million passengers when completed. The new Istanbul Airport was opened on a test basis last year in October. Ajay visited the new Istanbul airport to catch a sneak-peek just before the inauguration. While Turkish Airlines, and other airlines, were supposed to shift from the current Istanbul Ataturk airport last year in December, it was delayed several times. Only a few domestic flights were shifted to the New Istanbul Airport for the purpose of the test.

New Istanbul Airport

New Istanbul Airport

Now, Turkish Airlines has confirmed the date for the move to the new Istanbul Airport as April 6, 2019. Turkish Airlines will shift all flight operations to the new Istanbul airport between 02:00 AM and 10:00 AM on April 6, 2019.

This means a lot of flights will be affected during this period. You can check your flight status here if you are travelling on April 5 and 6, 2019. Turkish Airlines flights to Delhi and Mumbai have been cancelled as they arrive during the shifting period on April 6, 2019.

Istanbul Airport

TK 717 Delhi to Istanbul cancelled on April 6, 2019

Istanbul Airport

TK 721 Mumbai to Istanbul cancelled on April 6, 2019

Presumably, all other airlines operating from Ataturk airport will also shift to the new Istanbul airport, though no airline has confirmed the shift yet. IndiGo which will start double daily flights to Istanbul from March end is still showing flights being operated from Ataturk Airport.

While on the Turkish Airlines website, the codeshare flight operated by IndiGo is showing a notice indicating a shift to the new Istanbul Airport on April 6, 2019. Probably because of the flight having a TK flight number.

Istanbul Airport

6E 15/TK 4171 Delhi to Istanbul

The move of all airlines actually begins on April 5, at 3 AM. A notice on the new Istanbul airport website asks passengers to contact their respective airlines which we also recommend our readers. The confusing part is that the new Istanbul airport will take over the code IST and Ataturk airport will get the code ISL. So you won’t notice any change after the shift of all the airlines occur.

Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport shifting period

A massive lounge(s) bigger than the current Turkish Airlines lounge at Ataturk Airport will open up at the new Istanbul Airport. Bilal Eksi, Turkish Airlines CEO has shared a few photos of the new lounge. Let’s see if they can open the lounge in time for the shift as only a few weeks are left.

The first thing that came across my mind when I read the word Shift was the shift from Kai Tak International airport to the new Hong Kong International Airport on July 6, 1998. You can catch it up on this video, scroll to 37:15.


The date has been set for the move to the new Istanbul Airport. Hopefully, it will go smoothly as planned with no major hiccups. Turkish Airlines are preparing for the shift and have requested passengers to check their flight status if they are travelling during the shifting period. Flights operating during the shifting period are affected. Passengers are requested to contact their respective airlines.

What is your expectation of the new Istanbul Airport?

[PS: Ajay here. For one, I don’t expect long queues at entry, then another round of security]


  1. I have a lay over for my flight in May. Had booked a hotel near the old airport with a non refundable rate. Seems like options are very limited at the new airport. Was planning on visiting the city as well. Now that is out too. I wish there would have been some advanced notice from Turkish Air. Really pisses me off.

  2. What poor English! Turkey is in the process of building, which will be the largest airport in the world….It should be Turkey is in the process of building what will be the largest airport in the world,

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