4500 workers to be fired as Istanbul's Atatürk Airport is closed

4500 workers are to be dismissed by Turkey’s TAV Airports Holding as Atatürk Airport was closed to national and international flights and the Turkish Airlines commenced the transfer process to the new İstanbul Airport
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 13:04

The TAV management released a statement, saying that 4500 workers are to be sacked and the company will pay a compensation of $36 million to the workers. An official from the company told reporters that the dismissal process was normal since Atatürk Airport was closed.

Some claims regarding the dismissal of workers had been reported in November 2018, yet TAV had rejected the claims at that time. As soL news had reported that around 5000 workers were to be fired when the new airport would be opened, the TAV management sent a statement to soL, saying that they would transfer their employees to the new airport, claiming that they had been conducting a “transparent” process during the transfer.

As the last flights took off from Atatürk Airport on April 6, the Turkish Airlines commenced the transfer process to the new İstanbul Airport, and it was announced that Atatürk Airport would be open only for the flights of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other government officials.


The transfer process and the services at the new airport have been widely criticized. One of the most challenging aspects of the new airport for passengers is transportation, considering that the airport is too far from residential city centers.

As there is no subway connection to the İstanbul Airport yet, passengers have to travel by shuttle buses with high-priced tickets. Alternatively, the taxi service prices can be as high as 300 Turkish liras ($53), which can be more expensive than a flight ticket.

In addition to high prices of car parking at the new airport, the accommodation prices are also very excessive, considering that passengers have to pay around 1113 lira ($195) per night as the airport hotel service is carried out by the UK-based YOTEL group.


Another much-discussed issue about the new airport has been expensive food services. Passengers sharing their experiences with footage on social media had gone viral on social media, criticizing the high prices of food. The people have to pay 100 lira at least for just a small plate of food. The only restaurant at the new airport is operated by a company owned by Erdoğan’s son and daughter's, Bilal and Sümeyye Erdoğan's, business partners.

Meanwhile, Airporthaber has reported that the Docking Guidance System is not functioning properly in some fields at the new airport, leading to manual parking operations for the planes. The airport management has warned its employees to follow marshaling personnel for flight operations. 

The full operation of the airport had been delayed several times due to safety concerns until the recent announcement just before the local elections of March 31.