Turkish Airlines Finally Resumes Limited International Flights

Turkish Airlines’ planned recommencement of some international flights for June 10th never took off. A failure to secure the necessary permits from the country’s civil aviation authorities resulted in the much-anticipated reboot being pushed back once more. However, starting today, its fully-owned subsidiary AnadoluJet is now able to fly from Turkey to select European destinations.

Turkish Airlines is resuming limited flights to Western Europe. Photo: Getty Images

Just earlier this morning, we asked when Turkish Airlines would finally resume some of its international flights. The airline had previously set June 10th for recommencing cross-border air travel. However, the carrier was yet to receive permits from the Turkish civil aviation authority to operate internationally, and so the date was postponed.

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Operated by subsidiary AnadoluJet

It would seem the matter has now been at least partially resolved. In a tweet, Turkish Airlines wholly-owned subsidiary AnadoluJet announced its return to the Western European skies – starting today.

The airline said that flights would begin gradually, depending on travel restrictions of the destination country. However, a Turkish Airlines’ spokesperson told Reuters that they would only carry passengers with EU citizenship, residency permits, or certain visas.

“Istanbul-London and Istanbul-Dusseldorf flights took off this morning carrying EU citizens or residence permit holders,” the spokesperson told the news outlet.

AnadoluJet resumes Turkish Airlines international flights
Flights will be operated by Turkish Airlines’ subsidiary AnadoluJet. Photo: Biggerben via Wikimedia Commons

Flights from Istanbul and Ankara

Flights from Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen start today, June 11th, for Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, and London. Planes will take off again for Brussels and Paris on June 15th, and for Vienna on June 16th.

International departures from the capital of Ankara’s Esenboğa will also recommence on June 11th with flights to Berlin, followed by Frankfurt on the 12th, Paris on the 16th, Stockholm on the 17th and Copenhagen on the 28th.

It is unclear why thus far only the subsidiary is allowed to resume international flights, while parent carrier Turkish is still waiting for approval.


SunExpress already flying

According to Reuters, leisure airline SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, also commenced flights to Germany and Switzerland. SunExpress states on its website that only Swiss citizens and those otherwise qualified are allowed on the special flights to Switzerland.

The carrier also says that the flights to Germany are only bookable by German citizens, as well as Turkish passport holders who have residency or work permits, or special documents for family reunion. Other EU citizens can travel only if they are transiting to their home country, which should be neighboring Germany.

Pegasus A321neo
Low-cost carrier Pegasus will begin operating flights to Germany by the end of this week. Photo: Airbus

Pegasus scheduled for Saturday

Turkish low-cost airline Pegasus has said it will also start operating two-way flights to Germany on Saturday, only carrying passengers with the necessary documentation.

On May 8th, the European Commission called on Schengen member states and their associates to extend the travel restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU until at least June 15th. We will see if the policy will be extended, or if airlines will open up travel for a broader range of passengers beyond this date.