A Flight Tracked by 4 Million People: Turkish Airlines Making History

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Turkish Airlines has made history with its unique celebratory flightpath. The flight, which took place on April 23rd, saw a Boeing 777 drawing the shape of the Turkish flag in the skies above the nation. The flight has become one of the most tracked flights of all time on FlightRadar24.com, drawing more than four million users to watch the special event.

Turkish Airlines draws flag of Turkey
Turkish Airlines has set a record for one of the most tracked flights in history. Photo: Turkish Airlines/Flightradar24

Turkish Airlines sets the bar for the most tracked flight

Avgeeks around the world will be familiar with the fascinating tracking service available at FlightRadar24.com. The site allows us to see which aircraft are flying where, and to track aircraft all over the world from the comfort of our own homes.

When Turkish Airlines decided to draw a Turkish flag in the skies above its home nation on April 23rd, in celebration of The National Sovereignty and Children’s Day and the foundation of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the airline expected to get a few followers for the historic flight. What happened, in reality, was a record-breaking surprise!

Over four million Flightradar24 users tracked the Turkish Airlines flight both during and after the event. At its peak, at around 08:45 UTC, there were 195,000 users following the live flight simultaneously, making this one of the most tracked flights of all time!

Turkish Airlines Dubai
More than four million people watched the Turkish 777. Photo: Boeing

According to FlightRadar24.com, the most followed flight of 2019 was the first of three Qantas Project Sunrise test flights, which saw 800,000 people tracking at least part of the journey. Turkish Airlines has blown this statistic out of the water, achieving 400% more tracking than the Qantas flight.

Missed the big event?

If you missed seeing the Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER drawing a Turkish flag in the sky, it’s easy to play it back. FlightRadar24.com can recreate the historic flight right now for you; simply click this link to see the feat for yourself.

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The groundbreaking flight

Turkish Airlines put a ton of thought into this historic flight. The flight itself was operated as flight number TK1920, the allocation nodding to the year in which Turkey became a sovereign country. Given it was the 100-year anniversary of the event, Turkish citizens should have been out in force celebrating with parades and events. However, the COVID-19 lockdown meant all plans were put on ice.

Undeterred by the unexpected damper on the country’s celebrations, Turkish Airlines created one of the most significant flights in history. Both to honor its country and to entertain aviation enthusiasts, the airline set out to draw the Turkish flag in the sky.

The end result was picture perfect. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

TK1920, operated by a Boeing 777-300ER, took off from Ankara Esenboğa Airport at 09:40 in the morning and proceeded to create the image with its flight path. Thousands of people tracked the flight live for the two-hour duration, as it drew the crescent and star symbols from the Turkish flag.

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The result was absolutely jaw-dropping; a beautiful flight path drawn by a beautiful plane. Check it out yourself at FlightRadar24.com.

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