All flights to and from Istanbul Airport were temporarily suspended on Monday due to heavy snowfall in the city, while many other parts of Turkey experienced commuting difficulties due to the adverse weather, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
Flights at Istanbul Airport, which was Europe’s busiest last year, were halted until 6 p.m. local time (3 p.m. GMT), officials said, with delays expected throughout the night, while national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) also suspended all of its flights until Tuesday morning.
Many parts of Turkey have been hit with heavy snowfall since the weekend, prompting authorities to shut schools in some parts of the country. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) has said thousands were stranded due to inclement weather.
The closure of Istanbul Airport affected flights stretching from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and Asia.
It marked the gleaming glass-and-steel structure’s first shutdown since it replaced Istanbul’s old Atatürk Airport as the new hub for Turkish Airlines in 2019.
Turkish Airlines canceled all flights in and out of Istanbul Airport until 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Yahya Üstün, the carrier’s vice president of media relations, said on Twitter.
Üstün also said in another Twitter message that a collapse occurred on the roof of a facility, which serves Turkish Cargo at Istanbul Airport, due to the snow masses and the storm.
"None of our colleagues were harmed by the resulting situation, the process is followed closely," he said.
The company had earlier canceled 36 flights in and out of Istanbul Airport and 31 at Sabiha Gokchen, the city’s second airport, scheduled for Monday.
Istanbul Airport served more than 37 million passengers last year, becoming one of the world’s most important airports.