Having had to cancel or delay many of their flights due to heavy snowfall, Turkish carriers have suffered in the range of $17 million in losses over the past five days, early estimates show.
Most of the cancelled flights were from Turkey’s busiest air hub, İstanbul Atatürk Airport, where snowfall began late on Sunday and increased throughout the following four days. A total of 300 flights were cancelled across Turkey between Sunday and Thursday and thousands of passengers were trapped at airports. Following the chaos of the first day, carriers rushed to warn passengers via SMS and email of potential flight cancellations. National flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) had to either cancel or delay 210 flights while private Atlasjet was forced to cancel its service to 25
destinations by late Wednesday. The Turkey Private Sector Aviation Operators Association (TÖSHİD) estimated the total loss for carriers due to the canceled flights to be in the range of $17 million. “Taking an average ticket price of $85, flights carrying 200 passengers would cost some $3 million per day. … Adding extra costs, the total loss hits $17 million,” TÖSHİD Secretary-General Musa Alioğlu explained in İstanbul on Wednesday. Meanwhile, companies said any passenger who has had his flight canceled will get their money back unless they wish to fly on a delayed schedule. Weather forecasts show heavy snowfall will continue to wreak havoc on transportation in Anatolia. The situation in İstanbul, on the other hand, is expected to improve over the weekend.