Turkish Airlines Inaugural Flight, Istanbul New Airport to Izmir

Istanbul New Airport

A few weeks ago, I booked a flight from the new airport in Istanbul (airport code ISL) to Izmir departing November 1. It was the only day I was available as I had non refundable hotel bookings from the 2nd to the 5th of November. To my surprise, it was actually the inaugural flight, lucky me. Here are some of the pictures from the whole experience starting with the bus to the airport, the new airport itself and the flight to Izmir.

Video from my YouTube channel 📺

The first Havaist bus from Taksim Square to the new Istanbul Airport left at 12pm for the 3:55pm flight to Izmir. It was parked opposite Point Hotel Taksim.

 Bus schedule from Taksim to Istanbul Airport

You can use your Istanbul Card to pay which is very convenient. The cost is 9 lira which is half-price until the end of December, I believe.

Comfortable seats 😀


Every seat has a personal screen with USB and headphone sockets although it was not turned on this time. Wifi should be available too (in the near future). There is a total of 46 seats.

We arrıved at the airport shortly before 2pm and waitıng for us were some goody bags: all for the passengers on this inaugural flight 😍

Domestic Departures, entrance 1. There is a total of 7 entrances on the Departures level both for domestic and international, where entrance 5 is for priority.

I love the modern design of the airport 😉

To the left is for international departures while to the right is for domestic ones.

Pre-Security screening

Check-in desks

I already had my mobile boarding pass so I headed directly to security. It was very quiet as it was the only flight at this time of the day. From today November 1, there are 4 departures per day and by November 8, the fifth one to Baku will be added.


Some retail shops opening soon

 Cafe (the only one I saw)

There is also free wifı which was fast 👍

 Near Gate G2B our departure gate, was a festive atmosphere 😍

 Wonderful music 👍

Some more goodie bags, to remember the first passengers from the new Istanbul Airport 😍

Baklava, fruit tartlets, drinks and more 👍

There was no lounge though (I was told by the check-in agent I could get a drink and snack from a cafe near gate G1 by presenting my TK Elite Plus card but did not bother) so I guess we just have to wait for a few more months.

Gate G2B

Boarding started about 30 minutes before departure.

 View of the Domestic Terminal from my seat

View of the award winning ATC tower 👍

Outside the aircraft door, staff were givıng more souvenirs to commemorate this inaugural flight from the new Istanbul Airport to Izmir 😍

 View of the cabin from my seat, 25A

The "Lego" inflight safety video 👍

A very special take off 😉

Economy class menu card

Great view 😍

The flight was actually full, with only a seat or two vacant in economy class. Business class was sold out even before I could upgrade.

A lovely meal on this inaugural flight 😋

View before landing

Water cannon salute 👍

 As usual, there was a water cannon salute upon landing in Izmir Airport, as well as some reporters 😉

The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 upon landing in Izmır.


This was actually my second time to be on an inaugural flight (the first one was on Emirates First Class from Stockholm to Dubai) and as an avgeek, it was so memorable. Even more memorable due to the fact that I was among the fırst passengers to see the massive, modern and beautiful new Istanbul Airport. I know there is stıll a lot of work to be done as the Arrivals level is still not yet ready (we used the rest of the departures level on my return flight the followıng day). Still, kudos to Turkey and to Turkish Airlines for such a wonderful gift to the aviatıon industry 😍