Finnish president arrives in Turkey on scheduled flight
ANKARAFinnish President Sauli Niinistö arrived in Istanbul on Oct. 13 on a scheduled Turkish Airlines flight before a connecting flight to Ankara to begin his official visit, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Niinistö, who is known for his humble character, flew in business class but occasionally passed through economy class to chat with journalists on board. A photograph taken during the flight circulated on social media on Oct. 14.
Finnish presidency officials contacted Turkish Airlines before Niinistö’s visit and bought tickets for a team of 30, 11 of whom flew in business class, according to the report.
The Finnish Air Force has a total of three Learjet 35 model special jets in its inventory. However, for such crowded flights, Finnish officials opt for commercial airlines.
In the late 1990’s, the country’s airline company, Finnair, halted its commercial flights from Helsinki to Istanbul.
During some years, the company flies on charters or periodical scheduled flights to touristic destinations in Turkey, such as the Mediterranean city of Antalya.