by Jay Singh
Turkish Airlines will not operate any commercial flights until May 28th. The Star Alliance carrier has been forced to extend its grounding, citing public health issues. This extended suspension is also indicative of the lack of major international travel demand, likely to continue to the end of May, or longer.
Extension Of Flight Suspensions
>The Situation In Turkey
Turkey itself is facing a major spike in the number of coronavirus cases. On April 28th, the country reported over 114,000 cases of the virus, with just under 3,000 deaths.
Beyond the situation in Turkey, Turkish Airlines has one of the most extensive route networks in the world. As a result, the carrier has to face many different government restrictions when it comes to allowing flights and foreign passengers. In addition, even when government restrictions are lifted, there is no guarantee that passengers are planning on flocking back to Turkish Airlines as quickly as they stopped traveling.
Some passengers are concerned about flying internationally again. Why did Turkish Airlines extend the suspension?
While Turkish Airlines has suspended flights through May 28th, it is likely that this suspension could be extended beyond the end of May. Another global carrier, Emirates, is expecting a July return to operations. However, US carriers are a little more optimistic, with the three major carriers resuming international flights starting from May. Although, even that may end up changing.
The suspension may be extended if travel demand remains low.
However, the situation at Turkish Airlines is not exactly the same as the big three US carriers. For one, the US airlines are likely resuming some international flights knowing there will be limited passenger travel but expecting to fill the hold with cargo adding some semblance of profitability. Turkish Airlines, however, has a dedicated fleet of cargo aircraft that can facilitate the movement of vital goods.
Turkish Cargo is flying freight all around the world while passenger operations remain suspended.