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THY cancels dozens of flights as Istanbul braces for blizzard

Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) and its subsidiary budget carrier, AnadoluJet, have announced they are canceling dozens of flights to and from Istanbul as the city is embracing yet another blizzard.

“Due to expected severe weather conditions in Istanbul, some of our flights from and to Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen airports scheduled to operate on March 10 have been canceled,” a statement released by the press office of THY said.

The statement noted that 185 flights were canceled to and from Istanbul Airport, including 114 domestic and 71 international flights, while AnadoluJet canceled 20 domestic flights from Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

It also warned of the possibility of more cancellations, urging passengers to keep checking the latest flight status.

Passengers whose flights are canceled can perform their transactions through THY’s website, mobile applications, call center and sales offices, as well as through the agency that issued the ticket until the flight departure time, the statement added.

Heavy snowfall crippled the Turkish metropolis of more than 15 million residents in January this year, disrupting public transport and confining people to their homes.

After hitting the western outskirts in the city yesterday, snowfalls are expected to intensify today and tomorrow, while blizzard and freezing temperatures are expected to hit the city at full force until March 13.

The General Directorate of Meteorology warned about severe weather conditions in the city, warning that temperature in the country’s west may drop to zero degrees Celsius during the snowstorm called “Aybar Blizzard.”

According to a warning issued by Istanbul’s Disaster Coordination Center (AKOM), 3 to 19 kilograms of snow per square meter is expected in Istanbul today, while this figure is expected to vary between 5 to 12 kilograms per square meter on March 13.

Meanwhile, Istanbul’s Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu as well as other city officials met on March 8 to discuss the measures to be taken against the expected heavy snowfall. At the meeting, it was decided to coordinate with all institutions in Istanbul to fight against the issue together.

According to a planned road map, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will be on constant alert, and 9,500 personnel will work on the roads with 2,000 vehicles and construction equipment belonging to the authority.

Snow plowing and salting teams will be ready at 465 points; 220,000 tons of salt and 1,290 tons of special solutions will be kept ready in stock. It is also planned to continue public transportation throughout the city without interruption.

Some meteorologists claim that one of the strongest snowfalls in 35 years in March may be seen due to the Siberian-origin Aybar Blizzard.

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