Turkish Airlines has extended its cancellation of flights to and from Belarus and Russia.  

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the national carrier of Turkey operated passenger flights to and from Minsk (MSQ) in Belarus as well as Rostov (RVI), Sochi (AER), and Yekaterinburg (SVX) in Russia.  

The Istanbul-based air carrier announced that it will not resume flights to the named destinations until at least December 31, 2022.  

Reports suggest that pilots at Russian airlines can no longer undertake simulator training at EASA-approved pilot training organizations in Turkey. 

“Our flights from/to Minsk (Belarus) have been canceled until December 31, 2022 (inclusive), from/to Sochi (Russia), have been canceled until December 31, 2022 (inclusive), and from/to Rostov (Russia) have been canceled until December 2022 (inclusive) and from/to Yekaterinburg (Russia) have been canceled until December 31, 2022 (inclusive),” the airline wrote in its latest route update.  

“Passengers whose flights are canceled can benefit from the rights specified in the flight disruptions page and perform their transactions through our call center, sales offices, mobile apps, and website,” Turkish Airways concluded,” the statement said.   

The airline also explained that passengers who purchased flight tickets to these destinations on or before February 24, 2022, will be granted additional change or refund rights. These rights include the option to change flight reservations or routes free of charge to the same aircraft cabin class or the opportunity to claim a refund for unused or partially used tickets.   

Meanwhile, passengers are also allowed to extend the ticket validity period until October 21, 2022, without any additional fee, the airline’s website seems to suggest.  

“These rules apply to flights operated by Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet only. [...] Ticket changes and refunds can be made through the Turkish Airlines website, mobile applications, sales offices, call center, and the agencies from which the ticket was purchased,” the website stated.  

This is not the first time that the airline has decided to extend the cancellation of flights.  In July, the airline announced it would not be operating flights to Belarus or Russia until September 30, 2022, referencing the ongoing war in Ukraine.  

Russia’s aviation industry is set for more disruption with workers facing the possibility of being suddenly mobilized, multiple reports suggest