The airport transfer to Ege Airport in Turkey was the largest in European history when it took place in June 2016, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported on Tuesday.
The airport transfer is the first time that the airport has been transferred to a new operator, according to IATA.
“It was a very big shock to all the stakeholders in the project and I was really surprised when the IATA report was published.
But, with hindsight, the biggest surprise was the fact that the transfer was carried out without the required approvals,” said IATA executive director and former Turkish president Ergün Kılıçdaroğlu.
According to ICAO, Turkey’s Ege airport was the third largest airport in the world in 2016, having the capacity to accommodate over 20,000 flights a day.
It also hosts some of the largest commercial airlines in the region, including Turkish Airlines, Air Turkey and Air Kocas.
Istanbul’s airport had been transferred from a state-run operator to a privately owned operator.
The Turkish Government had been negotiating with the consortium, which has the right to run the airport, for three years, but no progress was made, according the ICAOs report.
As a result, Ege was transferred to the Turkish Airlines Group (TAG), which was set up in 2015, with a 50 per cent stake.
The two companies are now set to compete to manage the airport’s services.
The first airport transfer in the European Union took place on June 30, 2017 when Luxembourg transferred its terminal to France’s EAG Aviation.
That transfer was followed by a further two on June 1 and August 11, 2017, with France’s state-owned EAG being the first to receive the airport transfer.