Turkish Airlines continues to be the carrier that flies boldly into the pandemic, operating almost 800 flights per day across the first week of April. With one eye on COVID-19 safe operations, the airline has recently been rewarded with an upgrade from the Safe Travel Barometer. Its score of 4.1 puts it fourth in the world for COVID safety, and makes it the top airline in Turkey for clean and safe travel.
A significant ramp-up
Throughout the pandemic, Turkish Airlines has maintained as much flying as possible, reaching 200 destinations served by October last year. To date, it remains the most active carrier in Europe, operating almost 800 flights per day, more than double the number of the next most active carrier, Lufthansa.
At the beginning of March, Turkish Airlines operated just over 600 flights per day, but as the summer season progresses, the airline is keenly ramping up operations. In the week ending April 4th, it operated an average of 797 flights, an increase of more than 32% from the level flying just a month ago.
In Eurocontrol’s recent week 13 update, it was clear to see how significant Turkish Airlines’ capacity increase has been. While the overall picture in Europe is one of declining flights, Turkish Airlines layered on more capacity, adding 14.1% additional flights week on week.
A COVID safe airline
Along with maintaining a robust network, Turkish Airlines has been working hard to ensure a safe travel experience for its passengers. Since resuming international services in June last year, the airline has implemented all available measures to prevent the spread of COVID on its flights.
Measures undertaken include the disinfection of all high touch items between services, including blankets, pillowcases and textiles. Cabin crew donned full PPE for all flights to and from high-risk areas, and the airline was keen to note that its onboard HEPA filters were adequately employed to remove contaminants from the cabin air.
Turkish Airlines’ efforts have not gone unnoticed. Safe Travel Barometer evaluates the safest airlines and airports in relation to COVID-19, and has uprated Turkish Airlines’ ranking in its latest leaderboard.
Out of a maximum score of five, Turkish Airlines climbed from a previous assessment of 3.8 to a new high of 4.1. Its home at Istanbul Airport remains in a solid second place, with a score of 4.3 points.
In terms of Turkey-based carriers, Turkish Airlines is the best home-grown airline for COVID safety. AnadoluJet scored 3.6 points, SunExpress 3.5 and Pegasus 3.1 in the latest assessment.
Hot food returns to Turkish Airlines
Like many other airlines, Turkish Airlines chose to suspend hot food service as part of its COVID safety measures. Now, passengers can look forward to improved service on long-haul flights, as the hot food option returned to Turkish Airlines from March 1st, 2021.
As expected, only some passengers and flights will receive the hot food option. Business class passengers flying for two hours or more will be offered a hot dish, as will economy passengers traveling in excess of two hours and 15 minutes.
The airline states that it will be taking additional precautions in the serving and handling of this food in order to maintain safety onboard. All crew will employ high standards of hygiene so that passengers can enjoy their food and beverage service without jeopardizing the safety of themselves and others.
Are you flying Turkish Airlines this year? Let us know in the comments.