3rd Istanbul airport to have world’s largest duty-free complex

3rd Istanbul airport to have world’s largest duty-free complex

Neşe Karanfil/Tolga Özbek ANKARA/ISTANBUL
3rd Istanbul airport to have world’s largest duty-free complex

Heinemann CEO Claus Heinemann (R) is seen shaking hands with Mehmet Cengiz, the head of one of the members of the consortium that will build Istanbul's new airport.

German company Heinemann and Turkey’s Unifree have signed a deal to initiate the world’s largest duty-free complex at Istanbul’s under construction third airport.

The agreement for the investment, worth around 120 million euros, was inked by both Heinemann and Unifree, as well as the members of the consortium that will build the airport.

A joint venture consortium of Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon won the tender for the airport in May 2013 for a 25-year lease, with an offer of 22 billion euros.

The head of the consortium and the chair of Limak Holding, Nihat Özdemir, said the duty-free complex will be the largest in the world.

Heinemann CEO Claus Heinemann said his company had operated in Turkey for the last 30 years, including 15 years at the Atatürk Airport.

“We know Turkey and Turks very well, and Germany and Turkey have very good relations. We bring our international know-how to Istanbul, a regional hub, and we believe in Turkey’s growth potential,” Heinemann added.

“At 53,000 square meters this is a retail space of totally new dimensions. It will enable us to implement unique concepts,” he said.

The company plans to create more than 7,000 jobs at the airport, and investments amounting to more than 120 million euros are projected as part of the duty-free complex.

Istanbul’s third airport will have an initial passenger capacity of 90 million annually. Two expansions are set to follow, raising the annual passenger capacity to 150 million.

The design of the duty-free complex was inspired by the Bosphorus, the consortium members have stated.

Meanwhile, consortium head Nihat Özdemir said they would pour the first concrete for the new airport in March and they had secured a bridging loan worth 750 million euros for the project.

He also added that Limak Holding will secure a 5.5 billion euro loan in a deal with seven banks in May. He said the first cement will be poured in March after the completion of around 3,000 drillings.

Istanbul’s enormous third airport is expected to provide jobs for a total of 100,000 people, and will include a total of six runways, 16 taxiways, 88 passenger bridges, and 165 aircraft passenger bridges across all terminals. It will also include a 6.5 million-square-meter apron with a capacity for 500 aircraft, among other facilities.