New Istanbul airport has no need for more funds or new partners - Limak

Istanbul’s new airport does not need additional financing and Turkish Airlines will not be a partner in the airport consortium, Reuters quoted the chairman of airport shareholder Limak Holding as saying on Friday. 

The airport, one of the flagship projects of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was opened on Oct. 29, with a grand inauguration ceremony held on the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

Yet uncertainty remains about when the full transfer of equipment from the city’s existing Atatürk International Airport to the new $12 billion project will be completed. It was originally scheduled for November, then delayed to March 3, then this week delayed for a second time to April. 

Kolin Inşaat, one of the companies in the consortium building the airport, along with Limak Holding, Cengiz Inşaat, Mapa Inşaat, and Kalyon Havacalık ve Inşaat, announced this week that it had applied to Turkey’s competition board to transfer its 20 percent share in the project to Cengiz and Kalyon

In November, Turkish Airlines denied that it was interested in buying shares at the new airport. But earlier this month, Turkish news outlets reported that a new company to be established by Turkish Airlines would assume the shares of the companies seeking to withdraw from the consortium. 

Limak chairman Nihat Özdemir said the consortium was not looking for new partners for the airport, adding that it was currently paying back interest on a 4.5 billion euro ($5.12 billion) loan and would start making principal payments once the airport became fully operational.

“The airport is completed, indeed our airport does not need new financing,” Özdemir said.  According to the businessman, opening the airport in April is good because the weather conditions will be better and the passengers will feel comfortable.