TURKEY. The long-awaited İstanbul New Airport opens today to coincide with Turkish National Day, and the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

The new airport services over 350 destinations. “It  benefits from the best-available technologies, a hugely efficient passenger experience, and a complete blend of ‘global and local’ shopping and eating choices,” said Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of airport operator İGA.

In a message on the eve of the opening, he commented: “Everything is contained in a single terminal which itself makes an important architectural contribution to the great city of Istanbul. Besides its modern facilities, comforts, and unrivalled connectivity, İstanbul New Airport has the capacity and security to keep growing, and growing in a sustainable way, far into the future.

“Myself, all the staff of İGA, and all our partners and stakeholders, all look forward with pride to warmly welcoming the world to İstanbul New Airport, from where everyone truly will have a great flight.”

As reported, İstanbul New Airport features a 32,000sq m dedicated food & beverage area, and a 52,500sq m duty free shopping zone – the largest of its kind in the airport world.

Unifree Duty Free and Gebr Heinemann are managing the vast duty free offer. Luxury sits at the heart of the terminal, flanked by the core category duty free stores. These are complemented by five ‘villages’ that reflect different aspects of Turkish identity.

As reported, Global Exchange was awarded a 40-outlet deal at the airport, describing the deal as “the most important contract in the history of the company”.