Istanbul has seen heavy snowfall in the last week, causing flights to be cancelled or delayed. National flag carrier Turkish Airlines has been hit especially hard, with over 200 flights cancelled last week. The airline was also forced to cancel domestic flights run by its low-cost subsidiary, AndoluJet.
Hundreds of flights disrupted
According to The National News, Turkish Airlines cancelled 185 flights last Thursday alone, due to adverse weather conditions at their home base in Istanbul Airport. Of those flights, 114 were domestic, and 71 were international. Also affected were flights by AndoluJet, their subsidiary budget airline. On the same day, 20 AndoluJet flights were cancelled from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport. Disruptions due to weather have continued to impede services throughout the week and over the weekend.
The airport saw over a quarter of all of its flights cancelled, with the snow affecting multiple airlines. Turkish Airlines was affected the worst, but other carriers also experienced disruptions. Turkish carrier Pegasus said it had to cancel 30 flights last Thursday due to arrive and depart from Sabiha Gokcen airport, with a further 50 cancelled the following day.
Airport boosts snow measures
In a statement about the disruptions, airport operator IGA said that they saw 30% of the flights cancelled due to weather conditions at Istanbul Airport. The operator also stated that they had boosted measures to prevent interruptions in travel and operations due to snowfall. Turkish Airlines has notified affected customers that cancelled flights can be refunded or rescheduled according to their standard cancellation policy.
This recent bout of cancellations is not the first time Istanbul has had trouble with adverse weather conditions. Earlier this year, heavy snow meant that the airport had to be closed for the first time since its opening in 2019. When the airport was first built, it was also criticised for its proximity to the black sea, where there is often thick fog in winter.
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