August 03, 2020: Turkish Airlines will restart South Africa, Russia, Kuwait, and India services this month, according to transportation minister Adil Karaismailoglu.
Other destinations to be added include Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Kenya, and Uzbekistan, depending on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.
The country is planning to boost the number of international flights to more than 40 countries.
Both Turkey and Russia last week announced that reciprocal flights would resume on August 1 after a four-month break. Initially, flights will restart between three Russian airports and Turkish airports in Istanbul and Ankara.
“Scheduled and charter flights from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don in Russia to Antalya, Bodrum and Dalaman in Turkey will also restart on August 10,” he added.
Turkish Airlines is in talks with Russian authorities to fly from Kazan and Sochi as well, as per media reports.
After attracting a record number of visitors with 51.9 million people in 2019, Turkey was targeting a total of 60 million tourists in 2020 before the coronavirus crisis. The country’s tourism revenues hit $34.5 billion in 2019, a new record high.
However, Turkey welcomed 4.5 million foreign visitors in the first half of 2020, down 75 percent year-on-year, according to the data from culture and tourism ministry.
Turkey has resumed international flights to four countries, including India, from August 1, the country's Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu announced in a written statement this week. The other countries are Russia, Kuwait and South Africa. In the pipeline are plans to restart flight operations with Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Kenya and Uzbekistan.
International flight operations in Turkey were suspended on July 11.