Istanbul Airport resumes operations after fatal Pegasus crash

Matyas Rehak

Flights resumed normally at Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) in Istanbul, Turkey, a day after a Boeing 737 operated by Pegasus Airlines skidded off the runway and disintegrated, killing three people and injuring 179.

The aircraft was a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737, registered TC-IZK, carrying out flight PC2193 from Izmir Airport (ADB) in western Turkey. It skidded off the runway into a ditch, 20 meters down. The plane was split in three before one of the engines burst into flames. The fire was quickly contained and passengers evacuated.

Early data shows that the plane landed long and hot, about 1950 meters (6400 feet) past the runway 06 threshold at a speed of about 240 km/h. The runways at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), the second airport of the largest Turkish city, were slippery due to heavy rain, according to the local government. 

The aircraft was carrying a total of 177 passengers and six crew members ‒ contrary to the initial estimations by Turkish authorities that put the total number of occupants at 177.

While initial reports just after the crash, including an announcement by Pegasus Airlines, stated there were no casualties, the situation has changed overnight. The following morning, authorities confirmed that three of the occupants were killed while 179 had to receive treatment for their injuries. Three passengers remain in intensive care.

Runway 06 was temporarily closed. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport resumed operating normally on the morning of February 6, 2020. The Istanbul-based low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines said its flights would be unaffected by the accident.

The accident is uncannily similar to another one that happened on January 7, 2020, when another Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 skidded off the same runway. Fortunately that time, the aircraft ended its course in the soft ground by


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