Turkish resuming flights to Asia

ISTANBUL, 14 May 2021: Turkish Airlines has been steadily restoring flights to destinations in Asia that it served in 2019 before Covid-19 forced it to suspend most international flights in 2020.

The airline confirmed this week is now offering four flights weekly to Bangkok, mostly semi-commercial services for repatriation and limited to authorised business or essential travel.

The airline’s current flight plan shows scheduled flights on offer until 31 May to 231 destinations, about 100 short of the 2019 total.

In Southeast Asia, the airline has resumed 10 flights weekly to Jakarta, Indonesia, four flights weekly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and three flights weekly to Singapore. It is also serving the Maldives and Sri Lanka, each with five flights weekly.

But Covid-19 restrictions are tightening across Asia as countries battle second and third Covid-19 waves. Some countries are now extending quarantine to 21 days up from 14 days previously. However, as vaccination programmes roll out across Southeast Asia, easier quarantine rules will probably be in place for vaccinated travellers during the last quarter of this year.

Recognising flights continue to change often at short notice, the airline allows passengers to make unlimited changes for ticketings purchased 21 between March 21 and 31 December 31, 2021.

In its latest update this week, the airline confirmed it would launch services to the US from Istanbul to Newark, New Jersey, effective 21 May.

Flight TK29 will depart from Istanbul Airport at 1850 and will arrive in Newark at 2240. The return flight TK30 will depart the next day at 1205 and will land at Istanbul Airport 1650.

Despite severe Covid-19 restrictions, Turkish Airlines flew 28 million passengers during 2020, claiming a cabin factor of 71%. As of 5 May 2021, Turkish Airlines averaged 493 flights per day to 208 destinations.

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