After an absence of nearly three months, flights between Turkey and Britain are restarting today, 11 June. The news was confirmed on social media by the British Embassy in Ankara.
In a statement posted on its UK in Turkey Facebook page, Turkish Airlines will operate one daily flight from Istanbul Airport to London Heathrow, while its subsidiary AnadoluJet will resume one daily flight between Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport and London Stansted.
The Embassy further stated that tickets for the “commercial flights operated by Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet” are now on sale from the Turkish Airlines website, its mobile application, call centre and their approved sales agents. Prospective passengers were advised to “contact Turkish Airlines or AnadoluJet for the latest flight information.”
The British Embassy hinted that the type of passenger permitted to fly may be restricted. It said its officials “have had confirmation” that Turkish citizens or British nationals “normally resident in Turkey” are “permitted to book and travel on these flights to Turkey.” However, they had not received any confirmation on whether non-citizens or non-residents are permitted to also travel to/from Turkey on these flights, adding that they will “provide a further update” once more information is available.
There were details of health checks for those arriving in Turkey. According to the Embassy statement:
“All passengers arriving into Turkey will be subject to temperature checks using thermal cameras or remote thermometers, on exit from the aircraft and/or inside the airport terminal. Anyone showing symptoms of high fever, coughing or respiratory difficulties will be referred to the airport medical unit for medical evaluation under the control of the Ministry of Health. Additionally all arrivals who pass temperature checks are required to self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.”
The travel guidelines also state that, “no cabin baggage may be carried except for laptop bags, handbags, purses and essential baby items.”
The Embassy provided information for those travelling from Turkey to Britain, who should be aware of “additional requirements at Turkish airports.” It urged passengers to familiarise themselves with the regulations before they travel.
One requirement is for those travelling from outside Istanbul by public transport to have a “HES” (“Hayat Eve Sığar”) code, while over-65s “require a separate travel permit,” which can be obtained from the Consular Offices in Ankara.
Those arriving in the UK are reminded that there are “new rules in place in relation to COVID-19,” which include “the requirement to provide your journey and contact details” and to “self-isolate at your place of residence for 14 days”. The full UK rules are available online at UK Border Control.
Main photo, top, of a Turkish Airlines plane on runway at Istanbul Airport, June 2020. Photo © Facebook / IGA Istanbul