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HomeQatar TimesTurkish Cargo moves operations to new Istanbul Airport

Turkish Cargo moves operations to new Istanbul Airport


Atatürk Airport was the home of Turkish Airlines for 89 years.

Turkish Cargo has moved all of its operations to the new Istanbul Airport’s mega Cargo Facility, SMARTIST, from Atatürk Airport, marking the end of an era.

The massive switch was done within 72 hours and comes following the completion of the cargo facility’s infrastructure at the new airport.

Passenger flights from Atatürk Airport were transferred to the new facility in 2019.

“Now, we are gathering the air cargo operations which we have been carrying out triumphantly on a ‘dual hub’ basis without compromising our service quality, under a single roof at the Istanbul Airport,” said Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer of Turkish Airlines.

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The relocation process involved 50 trucks that performed 160 services, traveling an approximate of 16,000 kilometers. This is the equivalent of the distance between Turkey and New Zealand.

In total, 4,125 equipment were transported to Istanbul Airport. The last Turkish Cargo flight to leave Atatürk Airport travelled between Turkey and Sudan.

“[Over the past three years] we performed approximately 30,000 flights, 23,000 of which were performed by making use of our freighters and 6,000  of which were by paxfre [passengers-less flight by passenger plane].”

The Turkish company carried more than 4 million tonnes of cargo between the two airports during the same period.

SMARTIST’s annual capacity is expected to reach 4 million tonnes at an area of 340 square meters once all of its phases are completed. The new cargo hub incorporates smart technologies including augmented reality and automatic storage systems.

The facility is also equipped with robotic process automation and unmanned ground vehicles, which will accelerate its cargo operations.



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