PIA offers to fly Turkish Airlines passengers after Istanbul airport attack


KARACHI: As Turkey reels from a major terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Wednesday, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has offered to fly passengers of Turkish Airlines who have been affected due to flight diversions.

PIA, which has signed a code share agreement with Turkey’s national flag carrier, “has offered full support” in transporting passengers stranded due to flight diversions in the aftermath of the terror attack, said a press release issued by the airlines.

Passengers wait at the Ataturk airport's main entrance in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016.— AFP
Passengers wait at the Ataturk airport’s main entrance in Istanbul, on June 28, 2016.— AFP

PIA CEO Bernd Hildenbrand expressed his sorrow over the incident, which let to an hours-long closure of Ataturk airport, one of the busiest hubs in Europe.

“We are deeply sorry for this tragedy and as code share partners with Turkish Airlines we are ready to extend our all out support to them,” the statement quoted Hildenbrand as saying.

At least 36 people, including foreigners, were killed and close to 150 injured in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Tuesday.

It is the deadliest of four attacks to rock Turkey’s biggest city this year.

The attack prompted the suspension of all flights at Ataturk airport, which handled more than 61 million passengers in 2015. However, air traffic resumed at around 8:00am (0500 GMT) after police evacuated the airport building.

Turkish Airlines announced after the incident that any bookings on flights to or from Ataturk airport could be changed or refunded without cost for the next week.

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