To celebrate National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey, Turkish Airlines has used one of its 777s to draw a flag of the country in the air. The flight numbered TK1920 representing the year Turkey became a sovereign country, flew over Ankara today for this special mission. Let’s find out more about this flight.
Marking an important day
As Turkey’s flag carrier, Turkish Airlines decided to undertake this special mission to highlight an important occasion. Today marks 100 years since the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was formed and the country declared itself a sovereign nation. The day also celebrates children all over the world.
The day is a national holiday in Turkey and usually involves parades and celebrations. However, the coronavirus has forced everyone to remain at home and avoid gatherings. Turkish Airlines took this opportunity to mark the occasion in a special way while also ensuring everyone stays safe. The flight departed Ankara airport at 9:39 AM local time and landed there two and a half hours later at 12:17 PM, flying in this unique path, displayed by flight tracking sites like Flightradar24.
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) April 23, 2020
The airline later tweeted a video showing clips of the flight and the planning for it. The video also highlights a number of safety measures being taken, including flying the plane empty and wearing masks and gloves.
Airlines providing essential flights
Carriers around the world, especially flag carriers, are operating a number of essential flights for their countries. This includes cargo and repatriation flights, sometimes from distant parts of the world. Many airlines have temporarily converted their passenger planes into cargo ones by removing seats to maximize space.
Some airline pilots have also recently taken to drawing shapes in the sky to show appreciation for medical staff, send important messages, or celebrate holidays like Easter. Turkish Airlines seems to have joined in on this trend and used it to mark an important day for the Turkish people.
In recent days Turkey has seen a drastic rise in the number of coronavirus cases, adding nearly 4,000 cases a day and becoming the worst affected country in Asia. This has led to the country imposing lockdown and banning all international flights in a bid to slow the virus’ spread. The flight ban has forced Turkish Airlines to suspend nearly all of its scheduled flights. The airline is, however, currently undertaking a massive repatriation effort to bring home 25,000 Turkish citizens from 59 countries.
In the time of the coronavirus, airlines have had to significantly rollback operations and park most of their fleets. Flights such as this one are a way for airlines to chip in and provide an experience for those forced to stay at home. It also helps highlight the frontline role airlines have taken in this crisis by providing essential medical equipment and bringing back citizens stranded around the world.
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