Turkey’s AtlasGlobal airline closes down – blames costs of operating from new Istanbul Airport

AtlasGlobal ©AirTeamImages

Turkey’s AtlasGlobal low-cost airline has finally thrown in the towel and declared bankruptcy after a stop-start period that began on 26 November last year when it temporarily canceled all scheduled flights and stopped all booking of flights while it underwent restructuring.

Scheduled flights resumed earlier than anticipated, on December 16, though charter flights using two Airbus A321s serving Turkish destinations had continued. The carrier then changed focus to concentrate more on chartered flights. However, on January 29, 2020 the carrier announced that both its Airbus A330-200s that were on lease had been returned to the lessors and, as of February 12, AtlasGlobal filed for bankruptcy.

The carrier had previously expressed concerns over the cost of transporting cargo to and from the airport as it had to be carried exclusively by passenger planes. Since the opening of the new Istanbul Airport, many companies have been demanding a cut in costs. The airport was opened just over a year ago with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan anticipating it will become the world’s largest airport once all phases have been completed.

Currently, the airport has been hard hit by teething problems relating predominantly to inadequate transport infrastructure, while IGA, the airport’s operator, allegedly has serious financial problems and is looking to restructure billions of dollars of debt.

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