More than 300 flights canceled due to heavy snowfall in Istanbul

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Turkish Airlines has canceled at least 338 of its scheduled flights to and from Istanbul’s Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports, Doğan News Agency has reported.

The General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMİ) has announced to reduce 20 percent of flights at Atatürk International Airport. 

The national carrier on Jan. 26 canceled 156 flights to and from Atatürk International Airport and 36 flights to and from Sabiha Gökçen Airport. It also canceled 110 flights at Atatürk Airport and 36 flights at Sabiha Gökçen Airport for its flights on Jan. 27. 

Turkish Airlines General Manager Bilal Ekşi announced that they set crisis desks against possible negations due to heavy snowfall saying that passengers, whose flights were canceled, can change their tickets in one year free of charge. 

DHMİ at Atatürk Airport on Jan. 25 stepped up preparations against the new wave of snowfall and cold weather. Officials from DHMİ said they would assign 46 vehicles and at least 270 personnel to prevent possible problems on aprons and runways.

Airport personnel will also work in three different shifts, with 90 on duty per shift.

A new wave of snowfall and cold weather coming from the Balkans is currently covering Turkey, affecting Istanbul the most, according to officials from the General Directorate of Meteorology.    

Heavy snowfall started early Jan. 26 and is expected to affect Ankara and Istanbul, officials have said, adding that the snow could reach a depth of 10-15 centimeters.  

Officials also said that countrywide temperatures would drop by around 8 to 10 degrees Celsius.

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