Of all the industries hit by the pandemic in 2020, few were hit as hard as the airline industry. No country was spared, and COVID-19 cases hit Turkey hard.
Its main airline, Turkish Airlines, flies to more countries than any other airline. As 2021 begins, Turkish Airlines expects to fly routes to 208 different destinations around the world.
Flights for the carrier resumed in June 2020, and the 208 routes planned for January is an increase over the 204 flown as recently as October. These routes all fly out of the airline’s Istanbul hub.
While this is good news, adaptation to the changing situation with the coronavirus is expected. For example, Turkish Airlines recently suspended its routes to South Africa on account of the recent discovery of a mutation to the novel coronavirus.
While the 208 destinations is impressive, it’s important to note that the frequency of flights to many of these destinations is down from what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. This reduction in the number of flights is due to weak demand in many of the destinations.
Compared to December, several routes have added flights for January while some have remained at the same number of flights. As vaccines are approved, it is likely that increased demand will lead to even more flights over time.
Overall, Turkey ranks very high on the list of countries with the most cumulative coronavirus cases. More than 2 million Turks have tested positive since the outbreak began, and more than 21,000 have lost their lives to the disease.