Blizzard grounds nearly 200 flights in Istanbul

Blizzard grounds nearly 200 flights in Istanbul
Blizzard grounds nearly 200 flights in Istanbul

DHA photo

Istanbul's Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM) has announced that it has increased its alert status to "red" as heavy snowfall fell in the city late yesterday.  

AKOM said municipal personnel worked during the night to keep the city's roads free of snow and ice while the public transportation authority added 350 extra buses today to compensate for the ferries and boats that stopped working due to adverse conditions at sea. 

Blizzards grounded flights at Istanbul's Atatürk airport, as 108 international and 82 domestic flights were canceled.

Blizzard grounds nearly 200 flights in Istanbul

AA photo

The international departures canceled included flights to Athens, Brussels, Birmingham, Sofia, Bucharest, Moscow, Kiev, Berlin, Basel, Tirana, Zagreb, Chisinau, Lyon, Paris, Simferopol, Thessaloniki, Cairo, Toulouse, Hamburg, Milan, Ljubljana, Tel Aviv, Prishtina and Genoa. 

Flights were also canceled to Turkish destinations like Konya, Kayseri, Bodrum, Sivas, Sinop, Kahramanmaraş, Trabzon, Ağrı, Ankara, Batman, İzmir, Hatay, Gaziantep. Hatay’s airport, meanwhile, was reportedly flooded. 

Atatürk Airport Director Celal Özuğur said airline companies called off the flights but added that runways had remained open at the airport. Delays occurred due to the de-icing of airplanes before take-off, Özuğur said.  

Snowfall was expected to continue falling tomorrow and Feb. 1.

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