Turkish carriers cancel some 228 Istanbul flights as snow storms loom
DHA PhotoTurkish Airlines has canceled 195 flights to and from Istanbul while low-cost Turkish carrier Pegasus canceled 33, increasing the total number of cancellations to 228 while further disruption is expected in the coming days.
While Turkish Airlines announced early on Dec. 30 that 142 flights would be canceled, the actual number of disrupted flights was recorded at 195, surpassing expectations.
Many of the canceled flights were domestic, but routes to European and Middle Eastern airports including Hamburg, Munich, Milan and Tehran were also hit.
"The light snow that has been forecast around Istanbul on 30 December is expected to increase in severity on 31 December," a statement on the company's website read.
"For this reason, some journeys from Istanbul Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports are canceled and it is likely that there will be more weather-related problems on the same days."
Meanwhile, low-cost Turkish carrier Pegasus also released a statement explaining some flights to and from Sabiha Gökçen Airport will be canceled due to “meteorological obstacles.”
Snow warnings were also issued by the Istanbul Governor's Office, warning residents against going outside unless necessary. Snowfall began early on Dec. 30 and is expected to continue until Jan. 2.
More than 1,000 snow-clearing vehicles and other heavy machinery were on standby to try to keep the city's easily clogged road networks open, the Governor's office added.