Press Releases

Press Releases

TAV sees off hajj pilgrims in Turkey and welcomes them in the Holy Land

TAV Airports, Turkey’s leading airport operator, began welcoming the first group of hajj pilgrims from the early hours of the morning at the airport it has begun operating in Medinah, one of the holy cities of the Islamic World. Departing from Turkey’s Istanbul Ataturk, Ankara Esenboga and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airports operated by TAV Airports, hajj pilgrims discover TAV as the airport operator in Medinah as well.

TAV Airports, the largest Turkish brand in the airport operation sector worldwide, began welcoming the first hajj pilgrims of 2012 in Medinah, Saudi Arabia. Leaving Turkey today, the first group had 300 hajj pilgrims from Istanbul Ataturk Airport and 650 from Ankara Esenboga Airport. After staying in Medinah for eight days, the hajj pilgrims will move on to Mecca. The groups will continue departing from Turkey until 20th of October with return journeys will be taking place between the 30th of October and 29th of November. 74,000 hajj pilgrims will be visiting the holy land under the quota allocated for Turkey this year. As part of the Piety Istanbul Ataturk Airport organization, a total of approximately 7,600 hajj pilgrims are expected to depart from Turkey in 38 groups in total.

TAV Istanbul General Manager Kemal Unlu said, “Today, we see off the first group of hajj pilgrims to the holy land. We feel even happier that this year, our hajj pilgrims flying to the holy land for pilgrimage will be welcomed in Medinah by TAV Airports employees and managers. We have made all arrangements and completed our preparations in collaboration with our airport managers at both ends as well as Turkish and Saudi Arabia airlines to ensure that pilgrims will have a comfortable journey and fulfill their religious duties accordingly. We will be by our hajj pilgrims’ side during this holy journey and provide this service in the most efficient way with the advantage of TAV being ready at both ends.

In June of this year, TAV Airports undertook the operation of Medinah Airport, the first airport privatization in Saudi Arabia realized under the build-transfer-operate model. After winning the tender in October 2011 along with its consortium partners Al Rajhi Group and Saudi Oger, TAV Airports has provided 1.2 billion dollars in financing for the project. The Group, which has undertaken the operation of the airport for the next 25 years, plans to finalize the construction of the new terminal by the first half of 2015. The capacity of Medinah Airport will initially be increased to 8 million passengers per year through the new terminal building, an apron and fast exit roads to be built, after which the capacity will further be increased to 16 million passengers per year prior to the expiration of the concession period.