We’re quickly approaching the start of summer, and Turkish Airlines has just extended cancellation of all of their flights even further once again.
Turkish Airlines extends flight suspension
Turkish Airlines has today announced an extension of their suspended service:
- Turkish Airlines has suspended all domestic flights through June 4, 2020
- Turkish Airlines has suspended all international flights through June 10, 2020
The airline claims that this is being done “in accordance with decisions made by official authorities,” so it sounds like this isn’t necessarily an operational decision on the carrier’s part.
For some context:
- Turkish Airlines first suspended all international flights as of late March in accordance with a government mandate that indefinitely banned all international flights to the country; at the time they pulled all inventory through April 17, 2020
- In mid April Turkish Airlines suspended all flights through May 20, 2020
- In late April Turkish Airlines suspended all flights through May 28, 2020
- Now they’re suspending cancellations by around two weeks for international flights
Turkish Airlines has suspended all international flights
Why Turkish Airlines’ suspension matters
With dozens of airlines around the world grounded, why am I calling out an extension of service cuts by Turkish Airlines specifically?
Well, because I think airlines like Turkish are the ones to watch to get a sense of how international travel will recover:
- Turkish is among the most global airlines in the world, ordinarily flying to more countries than any other airline in the world
- I think watching how Turkish Airlines adds capacity when they restart operations will give a good indicator of when the global situation improves in terms of borders opening, airline traffic picking up, etc.
As mentioned above, it seems like this might not entirely be an operational decision, but rather the government may be behind it. Turkey has been hit pretty hard by COVID-19, though the situation is improving. For the first time in nearly two months, the country is down to under 1,000 daily new cases.
I think most of us already knew that, though, and that’s one of the reasons it probably makes sense to focus on domestic travel once you feel it’s safe and responsible to travel again. Alternatively, it could make sense to focus on specific countries that are going out of their way to take precautions with tourists.
Turkish flies to more countries than any other airline
Turkish Airlines has cancelled all domestic flights through June 4, and all international flights through June 10, which represents an additional delay of service of up to about two weeks.
I’m curious to see if they actually resume operations at that point, or if we’ll see a further delay.
Are you surprised to see Turkish Airlines suspend all international operations through June 10?