SunExpress, a joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, has suspended its flights to Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Austria, England, Switzerland and Ireland until April 17, 2020 in accordance with decisions taken by the Turkish official authorities in order to protect public health against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Stating that they suspended their operations to those countries according to the measures taken by the Ministry of Health against the virus, SunExpress Deputy CEO Ahmet Çalışkan said, “In line with our commitment to our passengers, we carried out 180 special flights departing from Izmir and Antalya, and approximately 30,000 citizens of the banned countries have reached their homes between 13 and 22 March.”
“Our domestic flights continue smoothly from Antalya to 8 cities of Anatolia and from Izmir to 12 cities. We believe that we will get through these difficult times all together. As the backbone of Turkish tourism transportation and as an airline building an air bridge between Turkey and Europe, we will continue to increase our contribution to Turkish tourism.”
Referring to SunExpress' measures against the pandemic, Çalışkan said: “Disinfection procedures, approved by international authorities are carried out regularly on all aircraft in our fleet. All our aircraft have the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtering system which are also used in the operating rooms of hospitals. These filters, which have a 99 percent success rate against all known viruses, including coronavirus,periodically refreshes the air during the flight. We have taken all the necessary measures together with our trained flight crews since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak, but we would like to underline that our passengers, who take the necessary precautions, are the most important contributor in this effort to prevent the further potential spread of the virus.”
Adding that they are in close cooperation with both national and international health and aviation authorities, Çalışkan said: “Our utmost priority as SunExpress is to ensure that our guests travel safely at all times and under all circumstances. We will continue to take all necessary precautions for the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew.”