Airports across Turkey and Greece, including Istanbul Airport (IST) and Athens International Airport (ATH), have cancelled hundreds of flights due to heavy snowfall across the holiday islands.
The snowstorm started on January 24, 2021, and impacted much of the Eastern Mediterranean, reaching as far south as Syria.
At 1:58 PM TRT (10:58 GMT), Istanbul Airport announced that all flights would be suspended. Airports such as ATH, Thessaloniki Airport (SKG), Ankara Esenboga Airport (ESB) and Heraklion Airport (HER) soon followed suit and cancelled most of their flights.
Many other forms of transport and communication in the region were also heavily disrupted by strong snowfall, forcing the Greek government to declare an emergency “holiday” in part of the country to prevent people from going outside.
It the afternoon of January 25, airports started to resume operations, with IST restarting some long-haul flights to Houston (IAH) and Caracas (CCS).
Snow accumulation, which is measured as 41 cm on the apron, runway and taxiway is being cleared by our team with 500 personnel and 180 snow removal vehicles, to prepare our airport for starting operations at full speed. pic.twitter.com/3oE0osl9bK
— İGA Istanbul Airport (@igairport) January 25, 2022
Meanwhile, Aegean and Olympic Air, whose flights to and from Greek airports remain suspended, have announced the restoration of a limited schedule of flights. All other flights remain grounded.