Turkey restarted international flights on June 11 for the first time after an almost three-month ban imposed to stem the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the new “normalization” phase, Ankara resumed domestic flights as of June 1, which have been followed by international flights.
The international flights have restarted, yet the process is gradual and will cover more countries in each phase. Within this scope, Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines kicked off charter flights to Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands from Istanbul Airport.
Purchasing their tickets days in advance, passengers started to arrive at Istanbul Airport during the early hours of June 11.
Passengers, who meet the criteria set out by relevant authorities from the two countries, can travel on charter fights. Only national flights of the destination countries or those with residence permits were allowed on the flight.
Entry into the terminals was also strictly regulated, with officials checking temperatures at the entrance and only allowing passengers with valid tickets to step aside.
Social distancing rules were also followed both by passengers and airport personnel.
The first plane, belonging to the Turkish Airlines, left Istanbul Airport at 8.20 a.m. local time on June 11 to Dusseldorf, Germany. The Dusseldorf flight was followed by flights to London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich respectively.
In the meantime, international flights also resumed from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport, which stands on the Asian side of the metropolis.
The same rules, including social distancing and fever-measuring, were also applied to Sabiha Gökçen airport as only passengers, who wore masks, were allowed to check-in at the terminal.
A plane belonging to Anadolu Jet, a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines, left Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen airport for London at 08.40 a.m. on June 11. It was followed by flights to Amsterdam and Dusseldorf.
Anadolu Jet has also started flights to Berlin, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich.