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Local airports serve 34 mln passengers in five months

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Some 34 million passengers traveled through Turkey’s airports in the first five months of 2020, marking a nearly 55 percent decline from a year ago, reflecting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry.

The number of domestic passengers declined by nearly 52 percent on an annual basis to 19.5 million in January-May while the international traveler tally exhibited a 58 percent drop to 14.2 million, data from the airports authority (DHMİ) showed.

Istanbul Airport, the country’s largest airport, served a total of 12.3 million passengers in the first five months of the year, a 23 percent increase from a year ago. Around 2.7 million international and 4.3 million domestic passengers used the mega airport in this period.

Turkey plans to resume international flights to 40 countries gradually as of June 10, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said last week.

The international flights from Turkey will carry passengers firstly to North Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar, and Greece, according to the minister.

Karaismailoğlu noted that Turkey took initiatives with 92 countries to restart international flights.

Turkey suspended all international flights on March 28 amid COVID-19-related travel restrictions worldwide.

Turkish Airlines, low-cost carrier Pegasus and SunExpress all resumed domestic flights on June 1.

Turkey’s airports served more than 208 million passengers last year, a slight 1 percent decline from 2018.

The number of international passengers rose 11 percent to 108 million, while the number of domestic passengers declined nearly 12 percent to around 10 million in 2019.

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