1.5 mln passengers flew under pandemic measures: Minister

1.5 mln passengers flew under pandemic measures: Minister

1.5 mln passengers flew under pandemic measures: Minister

The number of passengers flying from Turkey’s airports under strict measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has reached 1.5 million, according to the transportation and infrastructure minister.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the number of planes landing on and taking off from our airports, where measures were put into effect with utmost attention, was 14,693 in domestic lines and 3,872 in international lines,” Adil Karaismailoğlu said on June 21.

“We are expecting that these figures will increase swiftly as the flights to international destinations that are closed due to the pandemic resume. We have been in cooperation with 92 countries for international flights,” he added.

Turkey has reopened restaurants and cafes, allowed intercity flights and car travel, and lifted weekend stay-at-home orders as of June 1.

Flag carrier Turkish Airlines, SunExpress, a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, and Pegasus Airlines have also resumed some international flights.

The number of airports with an anti-pandemic security certificate increased to 53 yesterday from six on June 1, said Karaismailoğlu.

On June 15, flights to 15 destinations in nine countries resumed, he said.

Turkish Airlines resumed flights to the United States on June 19 after more than two months.

Two planes bound for Washington D.C. and Chicago took off from Istanbul Airport at 11.00 p.m. local time.

Amy, a student at University of Chicago who did not share her last name, was returning to Chicago after spending three months in Turkey, where she graduated with online classes.

“I feel like Turkish Airlines and all the airlines have taken a lot of steps to make sure everything is clean or sanitized. So, I feel like everything should be okay,” she told Reuters, waiting in line to check in.