Turkey’s largest airline, Turkish Airlines (THY), has halted the sales of tickets for flights from the newly constructed İstanbul Airport, which has recently begun partial operations, according a report on the airporthaber news website on Monday.
The new airport was officially inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in October. İstanbul Atatürk Airport was to be closed to domestic and international flights once the move from Atatürk to İstanbul Airport was completed. The process was first delayed until March, and there are now claims that it will be postponed to April, which means the new airport will not operate fully until then.
Travelers were disappointed when they searched the THY website to buy a ticket for a flight from the new airport. The company’s website says, “We have no flights on the dates and destinations you selected” for searches made for dates later than Feb. 28, 2019, according to airporthaber.
THY customer service also confirms that no flights are available from İstanbul Airport in March.
Located on the Black Sea, the airport will initially have the capacity to handle around 90 million passengers per year, but that number is expected to rise to 150 million by 2023, according to AFP. When finished, İstanbul’s new airport will be the fifth largest in the world.
The construction of the new airport has been filled with controversy due to the poor working conditions of the workers, with many laborers killed in work-related accidents and claims of lucrative contracts and corruption surrounding the project.