Flights as usual after failed coup attempt, Turkish Airlines chairman says
REUTERS photoThings are back to normal for Turkish Airlines (THY), the flag carrier’s chairman İlker Aycı has told Hürriyet Daily News, following a coup attempt on July 15 which hit Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport, its main hub, forcing it to cancel a number of flights.
As of July 22, only 43 flights out of 1,459 had been canceled, Aycı added.
“Some 91 percent of these flights reached their destinations on time, as 88 percent of them departed on time,” he said.
All THY flights would operate normally, after the government declared a nationwide three-month state of emergency, the company confirmed in a written statement.
“In due course, all Turkish Airlines operations and flights are proceeding uninterrupted and will continue to do so,” it said.
“Turkish Airlines [is] united with all of the heroic and honorable Turkish people in [their] extraordinary efforts [and who] played an important role to terminating the malevolent illegal attempt on the evening of July 15,” the airline said in a statement on July 21.
THY had canceled 925 domestic and international flights on July 16, following the failed coup of July 15.
All scheduled THY flights to the U.S. resumed as of July 19, following a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ban that stopped all airlines, whether U.S. or foreign, from carrying out flights between the United States and Turkey after the coup attempt.
The coup attempting soldiers had entered Atatürk Airport on tanks, hampering operations.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was on vacation in the Aegean resort of Marmaris, landed on a small jet at the airport, where a large crowd of anti-coup demonstrators had gathered and helped the police force the coup soldiers out of the area.
“All state and government authorities have also confirmed that it is a precautious action to protect the country from all possible threats, maintain all democratic rights and the continuation of all basic rights and freedoms,” the THY statement read.
THY’s shares are at their lowest in 3.5 years after plunging by 3.6 percent on July 20 to 4.87 Turkish Liras ($1.59), down from 5.97 liras ($1.94) at the close on July 15, only hours before the coup attempt.
The company flies to more countries than any other airline, with 331 aircraft flying to 290 destinations worldwide, 241 international and 49 domestic, the statement added.