Turkey to gradually resume int'l flights from June 10
Turkey plans to resume international flights to 40 countries gradually as of June 10, the transport and infrastructure minister said on June 4.
The international flights from Turkey will carry passengers firstly to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar, and Greece, Adil Karaismailoğlu said in a statement.
Karaismailoğlu stressed that Turkey took initiatives with 92 countries to restart international flights.
"We have come to an agreement with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Austria, Lithuania, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Albania, Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, and Italy," he
Turkey suspended all international flights on March 28 amid COVID-19-related travel restrictions worldwide.
Airlines see strong demand amid reopening
Meanwhileü local airlines have enjoyed strong demand after they resumed domestic flights earlier this week as Turkey further eased coronavirus restrictions on travel.
Turkish Airlines, low-cost carrier Pegasus and SunExpress all recommenced commercial flights on June 1.
Initial fears that people would avoid air travel did not materialize and demand for flights has surprised on the upside.
In the first three days, Turkish Airlines reported a load factor of more than 62 percent for 9,400 seats made available for passengers.
Not only the load factor but also reservations made for the future flights were very “pleasing,” said Yahya Üstün, senior vice president for media relations at the flag carrier.
Turkish Airlines is increasing the number of domestic flights this week.
Officials said up to 90 percent of travelers abide by hygiene rules and all passengers on board had face masks.
Turkish Airlines will have scheduled flights to 34 provinces from Istanbul starting June 4. AnadoluJet will start to fly 15 provinces from the capital Ankara and another 14 domestic destinations from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport, announced Bilal Ekşi, the carrier’s general manager, earlier this week.
Pegasus Airlines, on the other hand, reported a load factor of 61.4 percent.
“We made a good start. The load factor was higher for longer flights inside the country,” said Mehmet Nane, its CEO.
The load factor at SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Germany’s Lufthansa, increased from 40 percent on the resumption of flights to as much as 90 percent as of June 3. The carrier will increase its flights starting June 5.