Turkish Airlines (THY) paid nearly five times more for general rental expenses in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year at İstanbul’s new airport, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Monday.
The expenses went to $25 million from $4.2 million according to a memorandum circulated inside the company, the report said.
The memorandum stressed that the new İstanbul airport was the primary cause for the spike in rental expenses.
Although it was one of the mega projects that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pursued for years, new airport drew heavy criticism from opposition politicians and observers.
According to Turkey’s Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG), 38 workers died in work-related accidents during the airport’s nearly six-year-long construction.
Experts mainly criticized the project for lacking infrastructure facilities and planning.