ISTANBUL (Bernama): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad paid a visit to the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA) which is wholly-owned by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
The Prime Minister, who arrived at the airport from the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Friday (July 26), spent about an hour observing the operation of the airport, located some 45km from the city centre.
He was accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
At the airport, Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah were received by Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, MAHB chairman Tan Sri Zainun Ali and MAHB Group CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking, Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob and Turkish Ambassador to Malaysia Merve Kavakci.
The Prime Minister was briefed by Raja Azmi on the history of the acquisition of the airport in 2014, its achievements and development, as well as future plans.
Raja Azmi said the airport handled 41 million passengers annually, and could increase its capacity to 60 million when it had a new runway.
He said Malaysia, through MAHB, was the only Asean country that ownsed an airport in this region.
The airport handles 53 airlines flying to 131 international destinations and 41 domestic destinations, he said.
The Prime Minister was the taken on a tour of the airport.
Opened in January 2001, Sabiha Gokcen is the second-largest and busiest airport in Turkey, and boasts the world's busiest single runway and terminal. It is also the 12th busiest airport in Europe.
Dr Mahathir arrived in Ankara on Wednesday (July 24) for a four-day official visit to Turkey.
A busy schedule awaits the 94-year-old Dr Mahathir here with events lined-up including a captains of industry roundtable discussion and high tea with the Malaysian diaspora. – Bernama