Israel-Istanbul flights resume after Turkish uprising unwinds

The upheaval has lead to a massive drop in hotel prices around Turkey, which has seen a hit to its tourism industry due to a slew of deadly terror attacks, the latest on June 28.

July 17, 2016 16:25
2 minute read.
Turkish Airlines

A Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

In the wake of Turkey’s abortive coup, airlines around the world were quick to cancel flights to and from Istanbul as a safety precaution.

A spokesman for the Israel Aviation Authority told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that several flights were canceled on Friday night as a result of the Turkish coup attempt.

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By Saturday morning, he noted, some flights resumed service briefly but were again halted in the afternoon hours.

Around 6 p.m., Saturday flights began again and have been operating regularly ever since, contrary to warnings on the Turkish Airlines site that listed some flight cancellations from Tel Aviv to Istanbul.

The IAA’s website listed dozens of flights between Israel and Turkey running as scheduled with the exception of one canceled Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul that was supposed to depart at 8:40 AM. The reason for this cancellation was not explained.

Turkish Airlines posted a prominent message on their website informing visitors that all of their flights had resumed normal operations as of 2:30 PM on Saturday.

“Upon the call of our President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, our operations at Istanbul Atatürk Airport Is [sic.] now back to normal and flights have begun,” the message read.

Not everything is back to normal, however. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration halted all commercial flights from Turkey to the US, and also issued a ban on commercial and private flights from the US to Turkey. They did not specify when this ban would be lifted.

“The FAA is monitoring the situation in Turkey in coordination with our partners in the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security and will update the restrictions as the situation evolves,” the administration said in a statement.

The upheaval has lead to a massive drop in hotel prices around Turkey, which has seen a hit to its tourism industry due to a slew of bloody terrorist attacks, the latest on June 28.

According to travel website Hotels Combined, the price for a Turkish getaway this coming weekend at upscale Istanbul hotels has plummeted.

A double room on July 22-23 at the five-star Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel was priced at NIS 151 on Sunday.

Meanwhile at the four-star Sultanahmet Suites, the price for a double room was going for NIS 77 per night – though the site noted that only a few rooms were still available at that price.

There were many other four-and-five star hotels priced under NIS 200 per night.

Compare that with Jerusalem, where the lowest price for a similarly-ranked hotel on those same dates started at NIS 260 per night.

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