Istanbul, Turkish Airlines plane

Turkish Airlines suspends flights to New York on COVID-19

The United States is already the country with the most cases of coronavirus infections in the world, ahead of China and Italy. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also tested positive for COVID-19.

Turkish state airline Turkish Airlines (THY) has announced the suspension as of this Friday of its flights with New York, one of the few destinations with which the company still kept an air route open, after the number of cases of coronavirus in that city and throughout the United States has increased in recent days to exceed China and Italy.

“As of March 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (9:59 p.m. CET) only a limited number of international flights will continue until April 17, 2020 … Therefore, the route with New York has been cancelled“, Bilal Ekşi, CEO of Turkish Airlines, reported through Twitter.

The announcement coincides with the rebound in cases of COVID-19 disease in the United States, which in the last 24 hours have increased above 86,000 there to position itself as the country with the highest number of infections in the world, above even of China or Italy. Cities like New York or New Orleans have become major outbreaks of the virus, and authorities warn that hospitals are on the verge of collapse.

Last Sunday Turkish Airlines announced the suspension from March 27th of almost all its passenger transport routes, but New York was among the 5 destinations that were maintained along with Washington, Hong Kong, Moscow and Ethiopia. However, new cancellations are not ruled out as the coronavirus pandemic increases, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson becoming the first European leader to test positive today.

More than 1,500 passengers trapped at Istanbul airport

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 passengers of various nationalities who had been trapped for days at Istanbul Airport have finally been transferred to student accommodation in the province of Karabük, northern Turkey.

The passengers, coming from Tunisia, Jordan and especially from Algeria, had been trying for days to catch an unsuccessful flight because their countries have closed the airspace due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of them were escorted by the police on buses to Karabük, where they will remain until they can return to their countries of origin.

The Istanbul Airport operator İGA confirmed earlier this week that there were more than 1,000 Algerian citizens who had been trapped at the airport for several days trying to catch a flight and were unable to return to their countries after Algeria, which has registered 367 infections by the coronavirus and 25 deaths, prohibited landings of aircrafts from abroad.