Carriers offering refunds and waiving cancellation fees.
Flight operations at Turkey’s Istanbul International Airport have resumed following a failed coup over the weekend that saw major foreign carriers cancel its services amidst the unrest.
This news comes even as Mohammad Mir Al Raisi, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and International Ministry for UAE, told Arabic newspaper ‘Al Bayan’ that 28 Emiratis were stuck in Istanbul and were being lodged in a hotel until they could return home.
On Sunday, the flight status of the Dubai-based Emirates indicated the cancellation of two of its flights, EK123 and EK124.
A detailed statement from the carrier is awaited. But a spokesperson for the airline said earlier the carrier will continue to closely monitor the situation in Turkey before a decision is made regarding later flights to Ataturk International Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has confirmed it is resuming its flights to and from Istanbul from Sunday 17 July, following Saturday’s disruption due to an attempted military coup in Turkey.
The following flights will be operated: EY99 will depart Abu Dhabi at 1.05pm and arrive at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport at 4.55pm; EY98 will depart Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport at 7.30pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 1.10am.
Meanwhile, EY97A will depart Abu Dhabi at 10:40am and arrive in Istanbul Ataturk airport at 2.55pm and EY 96A will depart Istanbul Ataturk airport at 4.30pm and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 10.15pm.
Etihad is also offering the following options for passengers who purchased tickets for travel to and from Istanbul on Saturday 16 July, who may now wish to alter their flight plans.
The airline stated: “[Passengers can have] one free of charge move to another date of travel on or before 30 July, 2016 in the original class of booking, or if original booking class is not available, then in the next available class.”
It added: “Change fees are waived for this one instance only, with the exception of passengers who have already been re-routed via an alternative airport, who may now make an additional change back to and from Istanbul (subject to availability) at no additional charge.”
For partially used and fully unutilised tickets, re-routing to either Athens or Larnaca is permitted free of charge in the same cabin, effective until 19 July 2016.
Guests are advised to contact the Etihad Airways Contact Centre for further updates.
In a statement, Turkish Airlines has also confirmed its flight operations have resumed at İstanbul Atatürk Airport.
The airline further stated that due to the current situation in the country, for individual and group reservations, provided that you have a flight booking between 15 July 2016 and 17 July 2016 (inclusive), rebooking or re-routing will be made without any charge provided that new destination is same IATA region and same cabin class.
Those with refund requests on unused tickets will be privy to a refund without any charge; for partially used tickets, when planned trip is not complete; the remaining flights will be refunded without any charge.
The validity of ticket can also be extended until 15 August 2016 (inclusive) without any fare difference or penalty.
Turkish budget carrier Pegasus also told Reuters its flights were taking off but experiencing minor delays.
The attempted coup follows a series of bombings that hit Turkey this year, including a suicide attack in June that killed 45 people at Istanbul’s main airport.
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