Tender for transfer services to new Istanbul airport being cancelled

A public tender for shuttle bus transfer services to Istanbul’s new airport, which was finalised on September 4, has been cancelled, pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper reported on Thursday.

A consortium of three tourism companies - Altur, owned by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s close friend Abdürrahim Albayrak, Havaş, and Free - won the tender on September 4 in a 475,5 million lira ($ 73,9 million) bid including VAT. 

The CEO of Turex Tourism, one of two companies that did not offer bids despite being invited to the tender, said the company did not do so because of high estimated costs. 

The tender was cancelled on Wednesday on the grounds that it did not create public benefit, Yeni Şafak said. A new tender is expected to be finalised within 15 days.

Istanbul’s new airport, one of Erdoğan’s mega projects, will be opened on October 29, the anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic. 

A new metro line to the airport will be completed in 2019 and passengers will rely on shuttle services to reach terminals until then.

Transport operations were planned to be carried out via 150 shuttle busses on 18 different routes.