After more than three months of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey's national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) restarted international flights to Italy and Bulgaria on Wednesday.
THY operated two flights this morning: one from Milano to Istanbul, and another from Rome to Istanbul. The flights were suspended on Feb 29.
As many as 105 passengers, including a cat, flew from Rome, while the flight from Milano to Istanbul carried 138 passengers.
Turkish citizens who have a residence permit in Italy, and Italian citizens are able to take the flights.
Under the current rules, Turkish citizens cannot enter the EU unless they are close relatives of an EU citizen, long-term residents of the EU, or work in the healthcare sector.
Meanwhile, the flag carrier also restarted flights to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
THY Sofia representative said in a statement that five flights will be operating in a week, with three morning and two evening flights, which the national airline expects to increase soon.
Precautions related to the virus outbreak such as maintaining social distance during check-in and boarding, measuring fever, face masks at all times, distribution of hygiene kits, air sterilization with HEPA filters, are being taken.
Passengers of the first flight to Sofia were welcomed by Erman Topçu, consular at the Embassy of Turkey in Sofia.