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ISTANBUL: July 14, 2018. According to a report by the Turkish government’s Anadolu News Agency, the first flights from Turkey’s new airport, due to open on October 29, will be to Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Azerbaijan.

Istanbul’s current Ataturk airport eventually will be replaced with a park according to the country’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Northern Cyprus after his re-election and announced Turkey wanted to double the TRNC’s national income per capita “by turning it into a center of attraction in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

A321neo THY 1Last month Turkish Airlines announced plans to form an integrated logistics company called Global Express with ZTO Express and Hong Kong-based GSSA Pacific Air.

In 2016, prompted by the growth in China’s e-commerce market, Pacific Air formed PAL Express in partnership with Turkish Post to launch a BtC wholesale postal express service with last mile fulfillment.

Turkish Airlines chairman M Ilker Ayci said the new joint venture would provide first/last mile services with a particular focus on the global e-commerce market and generate annual revenue of US$2 billion within the first five years.

In May Alibaba and its logistic arm Cainiao Network announced they were the lead investors acquiring a 10 percent stake in ZTO Express for US$1.38 billion.

Global Express is expected to operate from Istanbul’s new airport where Turkish Cargo will have the capacity to handle four million tons of cargo annually. The airline took delivery of its first A321neo (pictured) on July 13 and will operate five B777 freighters by the end of 2018.

Turkish Cargo reported Cargo and Mail carried in June rose 18.6 percent to 115,989 tons from 97,828 tons in the same month last year. For the first six months of 2018, traffic increased 27.7 percent year-on-year from 517,884 tons in 2017 to 661,234 tons by the end of June.

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